Directional Aviation Capital, the business aviation-oriented private equity firm headed by Kenn Ricci, acquired charter broker Sentient Jet and aviation fuel management company Everest Fuel Management for an undisclosed sum from Australia-based Macquarie Group. The deal closed May 31, but wasn’t revealed to employees at Sentient and Evergreen until last week.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Fuel
Thirteen aviation groups, including NBAA and GAMA, are firmly supporting continued research by the Department of Defense on the use of biofuels after the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to strip funding for those efforts. By a 13-12 vote last month, Senate committee members are blocking Defense participation in programs to construct biofuel refineries and have prohibited the Pentagon from purchasing renewable biofuels that are more expensive than regular jet fuel.
Amyris’s jet biofuel, which is sourced from Brazilian sugar cane, has passed all required testing and will be used during a demonstration flight this month on an Azul Airlines GE CF34-10E-powered Embraer E195. The flight will take place in Brazil on June 19 during the Rio+20 United Nations conference on sustainable development.
Paragon Aviation Group has added two new members to its network of independent FBOs. Henriksen Jet Center is the service provider at privately owned Austin Executive Airport in Texas, the newest business aviation airport in the country. The FBO is open 24 hours a day and features amenities such as a theater room, VIP passenger lounge and 18,000-sq-ft arrival canopy.
Touting its volume purchasing power and its relationship with World Fuel Services, Zurich-based Jet Aviation has introduced a new on-site fuel service intended to pass along savings to its FBO and MRO customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The program will be offered in tandem with Jet Aviation’s existing fuel program, which is currently excusive to its aircraft management clients.
Moving on from the February dissolution of a decade-long licensing agreement, Epic Aviation and Air BP are continuing to make strides in different directions. Epic, a privately owned fuel distributor known previously as Valley Oil, had acted as Air BP Aviation Services since the 2002 formation of a joint venture company with the oil company and managed the 300-location Air BP FBO network and its programs.
A provision inserted into a 2005 highway bill that has given business and general aviation fuel purveyors a collective headache ever since it was enacted might be repealed in the next highway reauthorization bill. Thirty-two members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asking that the provision be deleted from new highway legislation now under consideration.
Jet Aviation launched a new fuel sales service for its FBOs in the European, Middle Eastern and Asian regions this week at EBACE. Using its global purchasing power to negotiate a better fuel price with supplier World Fuel Services, Jet Aviation’s new fuel sales service can pass cost savings on to FBO and MRO customers visiting these facilities. It will be offered in tandem with the company’s existing fuel program, which is exclusive to aircraft management clients.
Action Aviation has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with AirGlide, a UK company, which claims that its new Aviation Shield nano-technology coating can result in aircraft fuel-burn savings of around 4 percent through drag reduction of up to 40 percent. Nano particles fill all the microscopic gaps and crevices in the aircraft skin surface.
With increasing visibility outside North America, operating more than 3,500 locations worldwide, Avfuel (Stand 456) claims that growing availability of its contract fuel service ensures that corporate flight departments are able to buy fuel at competitive prices no matter where they fly. In addition to boasting a growing network of its outlets, the U.S.-based group provides automated billing to streamline transactions.