Fuel supplier BP announced today that it has ended its licensing agreement with Epic Aviation, its exclusive North American licensee for the Air BP brand, which distributes fuel to approximately 350 FBOs in North America. According to the announcement, BP intends to enter the U.S. general aviation business as a direct fuel supplier to FBOs. “With today’s announcement we are [expanding] our business by applying the same direct approach to our relationships with general aviation customers that we have taken with commercial customers,” said David Wade, Air BP’s vice president for North America. At press time, Air BP was not able to share additional details with AIN, including how many of the 350 FBOs will remain under its brand.
As a result of the announcement, Epic said it will continue to source its fuel from multiple suppliers, including BP, and will immediately begin the rebranding of its dealer network to its own Epic Aviation brand. Steve McCullough, Epic’s senior vice president of business development and strategy, described the process as simply a change in signs and decals. “To the FBO there will be no disruption and there will be no changes in their supply, the people or the programs,” he told AIN. “All of the training and value added that they’ve received from Epic in the past through the Air BP brand will remain the same.” The BP move stands in contrast to last summer’s announcement that ExxonMobil would dissolve its Avitat network of FBOs and exit the general aviation fuel business in the U.S.