Last month Million Air occupied its new headquarters facility at Houston Hobby Airport. Under construction for approximately a year, the 27,000-sq-foot FBO offers the latest amenities, including the “Million Air Sky Lounge,” an upstairs 800-sq-ft event room with a folding glass curtain wall that opens onto a 753-sq-foot balcony overlooking the airport and ramp. The room features a kitchen area with ice machine, refrigerators and bar area for special events. Six tenant offices have glass doors that open to the lounge, while another four offices are located downstairs.
Airbus Corporate Jets has appointed Benoit Defforge managing director. He will also maintain his previous role as head of the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC).
Bill Chiles, president and CEO of helicopter operator Bristow Group, announced he will retire at the end of July but will remain with the company in a consulting role for another two years. He will be replaced by senior v-p and CFO Jonathan Baliff.
The FBO landscape at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., continues to swirl with news that Signature Flight Support plans to acquire the Million Air White Plains FBO, in addition to the Jet Systems (formerly Avitat) FBO (for which it announced its intention earlier this year). Earlier this month, Landmark Aviation announced that it had upped its holdings at the dual-use airport with the purchase of independent FBO Panorama Flight Support.
The Air Elite FBO network now numbers 30 locations worldwide with the addition of UK-based Harrods Aviation and the UAE’s Royal Jet. An offshoot of the group that owns the London department store, Harrods Aviation operates facilities at London Stansted and Luton Airports with luxurious guest and discrete VIP lounges, workstations, conference facilities and select Harrods merchandise. In addition to the standard crew amenities, the Stansted facility offers two private crew bunk rooms. Both locations can handle private bizliner-class aircraft, up to a Boeing 747-400 in Stansted’s case.
The year 1935 saw the debut of the timeless board game Monopoly, the retirement of baseball great Babe Ruth and the first flight of the iconic Douglas DC-3. The aviation industry also saw the start of what is today one of the oldest FBOs in the country: Lane Aviation in Columbus, Ohio. Aside from a few years during World War II when the Navy took control of Port Columbus International, forcing to FBO to relocate, the family-owned business has been at Port Columbus International Airport for its entire existence.
The head of the former Million Air franchise at California’s San Bernardino International Airport was arrested at the end of March on charges of conspiracy and perjury that claim he and a co-conspirator siphoned money from the airport.
Following a dispute with Fayetteville, Ark. airport authority, Million Air quit operating the FBO at Fayetteville Executive/Drake Field Airport last month after eight years at the airport. “We’ve had to take a hard look at all of our locations and maybe rethink some of the markets that we’re in,” Million Air president and CEO Roger Woolsey told AIN, referring to the industry downturn of the past several years. “Fayetteville unfortunately happens to be one of them.”
At NBAA’s annual Schedulers & Dispatchers conference, held this year in January in San Antonio, more than 2,400 registered attendees from 30 countries received a hearty Texas welcome to the Alamo City.
Jet Aviation has opened an FBO in Berlin to provide handling at the city’s Schönefeld and Tegel International Airports. The new facility at Schönefeld includes an operations office, a crew lounge and a VIP passenger lounge. “As a major international hub and a common point of entry to central Europe, Berlin is a key location for our customers,” said Frank Kusserow, Jet Aviation’s director of FBO services in Germany. “Many of our customers regularly fly between Berlin, Dusseldorf and our other worldwide FBOs, and they can now benefit from having the same handling provider.”
At the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in San Antonio, Texas, Million Air Dallas said it is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the first of two Gulfstream G650’s on its charter certificate. Expected in March, the ultra-long range twinjet will be based at “4350,” the FBO’s new exclusive terminal for Million Air Dallas-based aircraft owners and charter clients that opened last month at Addison Airport.
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