NBAA Convention News

Avfuel branches out into global trip-planning business

 - October 13, 2010, 11:34 AM

Avfuel, known best for its global fuel distribution services, is here at NBAA (Booth No. 7346) promoting its new Avplan worldwide flight-planning business.

According to vice president of contract fuel Russ Standefer, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company had begun working with some of the better known international trip planners over the past several years in an effort to provide a more complete service for its customers. “But we realized after a while that what we really needed to do was to make flight planning an integral part of our own business,” he said.

The opportunity to do so came with the acquisition earlier this year of Pacific Coast Forecasting, based in Van Nuys, Calif. “We had a lot of experience in trip planning,” said Michael Wittman, founder of Pacific Coast and now director of flight support at Avfuel. “We brought the entire organization into Avfuel, moved it to Ann Arbor, and we’re now up and running, 24/7, anywhere in the world, as Avplan.”

Personalized Service
Wittman said Pacific Coast also brought with it a personalized service that’s typical of a smaller operation that fit into Avfuel’s corporate culture. “You don’t get handed from one person to another, instead you deal with the same person throughout,” he explained. “And with Avfuel as the parent company, with its extensive Internet technology, we have the ability to carry that personalized service even further. It’s old-fashioned service with high-tech capabilities.”

Finally, he said, “Pacific Coast also brought along a majority of its long-time customers, adding to the pool of regular Avfuel customers who can now take advantage of the new trip-planning service.

Avplan, Wittman added, can arrange customs and immigration support, ground handling, concierge services, visa waivers, permits and insurance. It also provides international and domestic flight planning and passenger handling, and “as a one-stop shop, we can also arrange fuel services.”