Air Elite Network Sees Growth in Latin America

 Air Elite, the World Fuel Services sponsored network of high-end FBOs has seen strong growth so far this year with seven new locations added, including six in Latin America and the Caribbean, bringing the total number of participating FBOs to 45 worldwide. Among the recent additions to Latin America and the Caribbean are Caribbean Support & Flight Services at Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport at Barranquilla in Colombia, Jet Aviation Nassau in the Bahamas, World-Way Aviation at Sorocaba’s Bertram Luiz Leupolz Airport, near São Paulo inBrazil, Ecuacentair, which operates from the general aviation building at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador, the Yu Lounge, operated by Leeward Flight Services at Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis and Jet Centre Curacao, at Hato International Airport on the southern Caribbean island country. They join Aerocardal Limitada at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago Chile, Pazos FBO Services at San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, St. Thomas Jet Center, and Cabo San Lucas International Airport in Mexico.

Air Elite was established in 2011 from the remains of the former Exxon Avitatnetwork, and to maintain the standards of the group, each location must meet specific criteria for customer service and the quality of their facility to be considered foracceptance. World Fuel Services expects the growth of the network will allow for better connectivity for business aircraft operators as they move between Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. It expects the network to eventually total more than 100 members.

Source: AIN Online (08/11/2015)


World Fuel Services Keeps Latin American Bizav on Full

Providing business aviation fuel is different in Latin America, compared with the norm in North America and much of the rest of the globe. Supplier World Fuel Services (WFS) understands that the traditional model of an FBO selling jet A at a profit to underwrite its service role is not the way it works in this part of the world. With one or two exceptions, the U.S.-based company’s regional sales director Leny Omilion explained to AIN, “Due to supplier monopolies or government control, the FBO-handler [in South and Central America] is not permitted to sell fuel.” Instead, the FBO-handler provides its services for a fee, and the entity in control provides fuel.

That said, World Fuel’s Air Elite Network of Diamond Service locations include 10 FBOs and ground operators in South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Service providers earn Air Elite status by exhibiting high standards in service, safety and efficiency.

From its perch as one of the top fuel suppliers globally, World Fuel has noted that while the volume of flights between the U.S. and Europe has “held steady,” operators within the Mercosur economic region have slowed down their business travel activity. But to support that activity and help encourage growth, WFS counts a number of service offerings among its arsenal of products. It can provide contract fuel (Colt International); flight planning/trip support (OFP); Avcard perks and credit card services, FlyBuys Rewards loyalty benefits, insurance coverage and even charter brokerage through its recently acquired Avinode division. Central to its core mission, however, WFS cultivates and maintains strong supply chain agreements with local refineries and suppliers, which optimizes wide availability within the region and competitive pricing.

Internet-based dispatch is available on a 24-hour basis for fuel arrangements anywhere in the WFS umbrella of service coverage, according to the company. “We understand the strengths and challenges of specific airports; and we employ people and have offices in the local regions,” said the company.

Those challenges can include econo-political and infrastructure limitations, said WFS. According to the company, “The main challenges are with the fuel monopolies by suppliers and/or governments combined with limited trucks at certain airports during peak hours. [Generally] ground handlers have good availability of equipment and hangars,” said Omilion.

WFS (Booth 3014) has developed its FuelFinder mobile application, enabling registered users and account holders to search FBOs and other fuel providers within the WFS Services Network for contract fuel pricing data; available handling services and whether or not the Avcard aviation charge card is accepted at the particular location.

In the Latin American region, World Fuel recently added locations at Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas International Airport (MMSL), the first Air Elite Network FBO in the country; and World-Way Aviation at Sorocaba Airport (SDCO) less than an hour’s drive to Sao Paulo. The latter is the largest FBO in Brazil, said WFS, with a total of close to 97,000 sq ft of hangar space and almost 70,000 sq ft of ramp space at Sorocaba.

World Fuel Services punctuated its mission statement with the following philosophy, “It is our goal to provide flight operators with consistency of service and solutions when traveling anywhere around the globe, including Latin America.”

Source: AIN Online (08/08/2015)


LABACE Show Set To Open in Brazil Next Week

The 12th annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) is set to open in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 11. Brazilian general aviation association ABAG, which organizes the three-day event, expects this year’s show to be around the same size as previous editions. There will be 22 companies, including all the major business aircraft manufacturers, present on the static display at the city’s Congonhas Airport, and 62 companies have reserved booths for the indoor exhibit hall.

Discussion at LABACE will focus on the continuing impact on business aviation of ongoing economic difficulties in Brazil. Another priority for ABAG is to ensure that the bizav is not put at a disadvantage by government plans to revise the country’s aviation laws. New features of the show include a conference session on international operators on August 11 (, and this will focus on wider operational issues throughout Latin America.

AIN will publish special editions at LABACE on August 11 and 12. There will be full coverage of the show at AINonline from August 7, as well as in our AIN Alerts e-newsletters (including two special LABACE editions on August 10 and 12).

Source: AIN Online (08/06/2015)