BBA Aviation and Executive Jet announced on August 13 they had signed a deal in late June that will make BBA Aviation’s Signature Flight Support chain “the exclusive FBO in all contiguous U.S. states and Alaska and in all current and all future cities for FBO services.”
However, while the language of the contract describes Signature as the “exclusive” provider of FBO services (including fuel) for Executive Jet and “all affiliated companies,” there are notable exceptions. For instance, said EJ senior v-p of marketing Kevin Russell, NetJets share owner General Electric prefers to use the Exxon Avitat at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y.
Beth Haskins, president and CEO of Signature, confirmed that despite the term “exclusive,” Executive Jet will honor an owner’s preference for another FBO, thus overriding the agreement.
Additionally, EJ will continue its strong relationship with First Aviation at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport. There is a Signature facility at Teterboro, but First Aviation has been Executive Jet’s primary FBO there for the past several years and will remain so. Due to its proximity to Manhattan, First Aviation’s Teterboro location is the area’s busiest destination for EJ’s NetJets fractional-ownership aircraft.
According to Haskins, the agreement is effective retroactive to June 1. “The transition period has already begun,” she said, adding that it should be complete by the end of last month.
The deal will also include Priester Aviation at Chicago Palwaukee Airport, which BBA plans to acquire and add to the Signature chain.
Excluded are Signature FBOs outside the U.S.
The deal also includes a commitment by BBA Aviation to provide Executive Jet with “additional engine overhaul, major inspection and repair support through BBA’s Dallas Airmotive subsidiary.”
Dallas Airmotive will service engines installed on all of Executive Jet’s Raytheon Hawkers at its centers in Dallas. The Dallas facilities already provide EJ with support for engines on its Cessna Citation fleet, as well as through BBA’s worldwide network of nine regional turbine centers.
“The ability to procure quality flight and engine support services wherever we go and whenever we need it is absolutely essential as Executive Jet continues to grow and enter new markets,” said EJ executive v-p Richard Smith.
Russell told AIN that the agreement strengthens the bond between Executive Jet and BBA, saying that Signature had been the preferred FBO chain for some time. He declined to discuss fuel pricing terms of the new agreement, though he did say, “I can assure you we get a good price on fuel from Signature.”
Executive Jet, the parent company of the NetJets fractional-ownership program, is the world’s largest operator of private business jets, with a fleet currently totaling more than 370 aircraft and more than 574 still on order.
Signature Flight Support has a similar status in the FBO industry, with a total of 49 FBO facilities worldwide–44 in the U.S., one at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International, one at Le Bourget in Paris, and three in the UK at London City, Luton and Southampton International. The Signature chain supplies a total of more than 100 million gallons of fuel to GA aircraft annually.