NBAA Convention News

Fuel manager’s penny-pinching adds up

 - September 30, 2008, 10:06 AM

If dealing with the price of fuel consumes more of your time than any other facet of running your flight department, Everest Aviation Resources has a solution. “We’re a fuel management company,” Noel Donald, president and CEO of the Baytown, Texas company, told NBAA Convention News.

Donald said the company  searches every location its Part 91 and 135 clients go to ensure they are getting the best pricing. “We put together the buying power of all of our clients and go directly to fuel vendors, FBOs and oil companies. We research pricing, negotiate on behalf of the client, arrange the fuel for them, and then confirm it with the FBO when the client is ready to go.”

According to Donald, the company’s service has something to offer large and small flight departments alike. He explained, “Small flight departments, one or two aircraft, clearly don’t have the buying power to command a discount on their own, but even large flight departments can benefit from our service. We purchase about 800,000 gallons of fuel a month. How many operations have that much influence?” On average the company saves its clients about 30 to 35 cents per gallon over what they were paying before joining the network.

Suggest Cost Controls

Donald explained that part of the initial consultation is looking at what the client has been doing in the past and making suggestions about how it might do things differently to keep costs under control.

“We specialize in counseling our clients to help them control their costs,” he said. “We’ll talk to them about the advantages of fuel card programs such as the BP Sterling Card or Chevron Alliance Card, if it makes sense for their operation.”
The service doesn’t end with negotiating the best price. “We also audit every purchase transaction. We hold both the pilots and the vendors accountable for the agreement. If there’s a discrepancy, such as the pilot getting billed for more than was agreed upon, we handle it.”

Focus on Priorities

In addition, beyond finding the best fuel price, the company searches for the best deal based upon the flight department’s priorities. “Everyone wants the best price they can get on fuel but some clients will have a higher priority,” Donald said. “For example, a client might require the use of a conference room at the destination.
We’ll do the research, find out who offers what they need and then work to get the best fuel price possible while meeting those needs. We’ll also research landing fees, tie-down fee and other costs involved at a given airport. What we do is put together the best package possible based on the client’s requirements.”

The client pays a monthly fee for the service and Everest Aviation Resources has no financial tie to the FBO, oil company or reseller. “Our fees range from $450 to $650 a month per aircraft based upon the size of the aircraft,” Donald said. The company also offers a discount for multiple aircraft.