contributor masthead

Social Media | Archive Search


Mark Amor, vice president, World Fuel Services (WFS) talks disruption and delivering personalisation to support the future growth of airports and the business aviation sector.

Customisation trend hits the regional airport and business aviation sector

here is a famous saying by Henry Ford that has stuck with me for a long time: "Any colour car, as long as its black."

It’s an almost unrecognisable sentiment now, in an age where we all expect to be able to customise everything from our coffee to the interior of our car.

Unfortunately, the idea that customers have no choice but to buy ‘off-the-shelf’, so to speak, has stuck in the aviation fuel sector. Legacy providers continue to produce jet fuel and sell it directly to customers, often also taking on the management of the whole supply chain at the same time. It’s a simple but commercially effective model - for the fuel supplier. But, in a rapidly changing and highly competitive sector, a one-size-fits-all approach is not the best choice for FBOs and airport operators.

An approach proven in other industries

WFS is pioneering a new approach that is built on made-to-order solutions to meet genuine customer needs, throughout the relationship. Everything else - flexibility, innovation and a desire to drive down customers’ costs - falls under this. We are committed to investing in the future of our industry and we treat every customer as a partner. We listen, we consult and we challenge. We look to work as an extension of a customer’s team, bringing to the table our global reach and expertise as well as regional teams and local knowledge.

We see services and solutions like Lego bricks; we find the right ones for the model the customer requires and build a bespoke offering to meet that requirement. Our business model is more agile - entrepreneurial in its set-up - than the larger legacy providers and this has allowed us to adapt to the market and offer something new, exciting and much-needed as a way to reinvigorate the business aviation sector.

Beyond fuel to value creation

What we are increasingly finding with customers, and hearing broadly across the industry, is that operators would like a one-stop-shop provider who can offer everything from fuel supply to catering services. That is why we see our role as a partner to airports, as being able to offer much more than fueling services. As well as offering a range of services and solutions including training, card payment processing and digital planning tools, we are also strategic consultants who aim to support customers in meeting their commercial objectives.

A good example of this is our work with XLR Executive Jet Centre, Birmingham. The general aviation ramp at Birmingham Airport was not being serviced with a convenient fuel supply, instead having to settle with sharing a truck across the site, which was leading to issues with turnaround times and low customer satisfaction. The previous fuel supplier had not tackled this problem, despite the opportunity to drastically improve the offering.

Following the fuel farm storage solution we put in place to meet fast growing fuel demands of Birmingham Airport, we worked with XLR to create a new full-service FBO. Via our accredited training offering, XLR now has qualified drivers and in-to-plane fuel handlers that give XLR autonomy and responsibility for bringing fuel to its customers as its needed, ensuring consistent service. Alongside flexible payment services and best value fuel provision, our work with XLR has reduced costs and created new revenue streams for XLR Executive Jet Centre at Birmingham, leading us to expand our partnership with XLR to its site at Liverpool Airport.

Future-proofing the sector

We are taking a proactive approach to understanding our customers’ problems. We develop solutions that address long-standing challenges in the market for airports, FBOs and customers. Our ability to manage pricing, quality, value and innovation throughout the supply chain is central to our differentiation, and testament to this is our own expanding business. We are proud to say we are winning more and more customers across Europe all the time.

The future of business aviation in Europe is looking pretty bright right now. Figures are showing a good forecast for 2018 but this is only going to be achieved if suppliers and operators alike look to future-proof themselves.

This starts with remodelling the sector for the twenty-first century, and for us this means making things easy for our customers and keeping them at the heart of everything we do.

BlueSky Business Aviation News | 10th May 2018 | Issue #463

sign-off Social Media | Archive Search

BlueSky: Your Essential Business Aviation News


BlueSky Advertising | Immediate Publication | Guaranteed Insertion | Global Audience

© BlueSky Business Aviation News Ltd 2008-2018