EBACE Convention News

EBACE 2011: Universal Acquires Catering, Concierge Businesses

 - May 16, 2011, 11:50 AM

Universal Weather and Aviation (Stand 7091) has acquired in-flight catering and concierge group Air Chef Holdings for an undisclosed price. Air Chef, which provides catering for charter operators, corporate flight departments, fractional operators, flight attendants and FBOs, now is a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal.

The acquisition includes Air Chef Holdings’ Air Culinaire, Air Culinaire International and CaterLink Worldwide divisions. Air Culinaire operates 13 kitchens in the U.S. and two kitchens in Europe (at London Luton Airport and Paris Le Bourget). CaterLink Worldwide serves 800 airports internationally, using local, pre-approved vendors in markets where Air Culinaire does not operate a kitchen.

Houston-based Universal provides trip support services to business aircraft operators, including flight planning, weather briefings, scheduling software, datalink services and a fuel program. Universal president Mark Carmen said the company will seek input from its clients and Air Chef clients for ideas on maximizing the acquisition.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to gain a greater understanding of their wants and needs when they are flying both close to home and internationally,” Carmen said. “We will use that insight to identify opportunities for new product development, possible delivery enhancements and potential locations for further international expansion.”