Despite FBO Industry Optimism, ABSG Sees Turbulence Ahead

 - March 10, 2020, 9:00 AM

As the 2020 NBAA Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference kicks off this evening in North Carolina at the Charlotte Convention Center, FBO industry consultancy Aviation Business Strategies Group (ABSG) has released the results from its annual FBO fuel sales survey, which shows an optimistic environment, it said.

A record 73 percent of respondents indicated they believe the economy is headed in the right direction, an increase over last year’s 61 percent. Among the FBOs surveyed, more than half responded that their fuel sales increased between 2018 and 2019, with nearly 20 percent noting their increase was more than 8 percent from the previous year.

“There’s no question that 2019 proved to be a very upbeat and positive year for the FBO industry, said ABSG co-principal John Enticknap. “The survey showed a continued incremental increase in fuel sales for the fourth year in a row for the majority of responding FBOs.”

Among respondents, 65 percent said they expected another increase in fuel sales in 2020, but with the full effects of the coronavirus outbreak on international commerce unknown, ABSG declined to issue an FBO industry growth forecast at this time.

When asked what they viewed as top concerns, respondents listed staffing shortages, fuel margin management, higher operational costs, rising airport fees and taxes, and environmental legislation/political landscape.