The FBO industry is shifting from a price-sensitive business model to one based on providing an exceptional customer service experience, according to FBO industry consultants Aviation Business Strategies Group. The firm’s principals–John Enticknap and Ron Jackson–addressed a group of industry leaders about this topic today at the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
“FBOs competing on price is an archaic way of doing business,” said Enticknap. “In today’s tough business climate, FBOs are operating on very thin margins, yet the cost of doing business continues to rise.” He said FBOs must continue to find other ways to differentiate themselves, such as through superior customer service.
For the remainder of the year, Enticknap predicts that most FBOs should experience steady growth in the range of 4 to 6 percent. “It looks like there will be a slight increase in the number of flight hours being flown by corporate flight departments and charter operators,” he said. “However, more efficient aircraft and the practice of tankering will make 2013 another challenging year for the industry. If an FBO achieves a growth in business of 6 percent or more, they will be a star performer.”