Special Reports

July 1, 2015
AirFlite Aviation Services
Our survey identifies top performers worldwide. Fixed-base operations (aka FBOs) deliver essential business aviation services such as fueling, deicing and aircraft shelter, as well as waiting areas for passengers and crew. Some FBOs also feature audiovisual-equipped conference rooms, business centers, snacks and concierge services, while many provide pilots and crews with flight-planning facilities; rooms for resting, showering and movie watching; and courtesy cars. For the past 34 years, BJT sister publication Aviation International News has conducted an annual survey to determine which FBOs offer the best customer experience. Those who do the reviewing are a specially selected segment of AIN’s readership—the pilots, flight-department managers, dispatchers and others who have the most interaction with these facilities. For its 2015 survey , the magazine received more than 12,000 evaluations of FBOs in 90 countries. AIN asked respondents to rate facilities they’d used over the past year from 1 to 10 in the following five categories: Line service—competence of the workers who meet the airplane on the ramp and service it. Passenger amenities—quality of lounges and conference rooms and availability of ground transportation. Pilot amenities—availability and quality of pilots’ lounges, flight-planning facilities, snooze rooms, crew showers, entertainment and recreation offerings and complementary crew cars.   Facilities—cleanliness, comfort, upkeep and convenience of the location. Customer service—professionalism of customer-service reps, their familiarity with the local area and their assistance with reservations and catering arrangements.  This year, two FBOs share top honors in the Americas with an overall score of 9.5: AirFlite Aviation Services at Southern California’s Long Beach Airport, which earned the highest score for the second consecutive year; and J.A. Air Center at Chicago-area Aurora Municipal Airport.  Toyota-owned AirFlite, which tallied top scores in three of the five categories, has occupied the same meticulously maintained building for 23 years and has long participated in Ritz-Carlton’s customer-service training program. The facility’s general manager is also a pilot in Toyota’s flight department, which allows him to view the FBO from a customer perspective. J.A. Air Center has been a top performer in the survey for seven years and has earned a 9.5 score for the past three. Manager Randy Fank believes there are no mysteries when it comes to delivering quality service. “Take care of the customers in the back of the airplane and get them on their way,” he says. “Then you take care of the customers in the front of the airplane. You’ve got to go in there with a good attitude and take every day the same.” European service providers continue to dominate the international part of the FBO survey, which also covers the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Nine of the top 10 locations to garner enough reviews to be ranked are in the UK, France or Switzerland. The lone exception is the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre.  While scores for the international facilities tend to lag those of the longer-established premier North American operations, the gap has been closing. For the first time in the survey’s history, more than one location in Europe scored 9.0 or higher this year.  TAG Aviation at the UK’s Farnborough Airport, which has made the list for nine straight years, earned a 9.1 score in each of the past three. Tag owns the dedicated London-area business aviation airport, which handled nearly 25,000 aircraft movements last year. The company’s FBO there received top scores for both passenger and crew amenities and the 9.4 score for its facilities was the highest ranking in any category in this year’s international survey.
April 20, 2015
Business jet flying away.
Activity in China has slowed a bit, but that’s good news for some.
October 7, 2014
Once again, our annual Readers’ Choice Survey has produced a record response.
September 1, 2014
Today’s business jets offer all the electronic “toys” you’ll find at home. Depending on your home, in fact, you might discover more gizmos to play with on the airplane these days.
July 9, 2014
Xjet lobby
Fixed-base operations, commonly known as FBOs, have come a long way since their beginnings as nondescript trailers and shacks alongside airport taxiways. Many have morphed into well-equipped, stylishly decorated facilities that, for passengers on corporate and private aircraft, often offer a first impression of a town or city.
April 20, 2014
Because the science of flight hasn’t changed, designers must still balance the desire for cabin enhancements with the need to minimize weight. Every ounce they save through creative use of technology adds range and performance to the airplane, helping passengers fly higher, faster and farther.
October 29, 2013
Learjet 23 (Courtesy of Flexjet)
Late in the day on Oct. 7, 1963, the first Learjet 23 took flight for the first time in Wichita, Kansas, just before the sun slipped below the prairie horizon. A local radio station reported that the Learjet was making its maiden flight, and people jumped in their cars to see the sight. The crowd cheered. Grown men cried.
September 30, 2013
Jay Mesinger, CEO and president, Mesinger Jet Sales
We’ve witnessed many changes in the business aviation field since BJT began publishing 10 years ago. What needs to happen in the next decade and what will happen? We asked some seasoned observers to offer their thoughts and predictions.
September 19, 2013
BJT's first cover, from October 2003
You need only glance at our first cover, from October 2003, to see how far Business Jet Traveler has come. We began as an outgrowth of Aviation International News, our company’s 41-year-old trade magazine, and in our early issues, seemed more like a clone than an offspring.
November 28, 2012
When charities take flight
Charities that use aviation are legion, with hundreds plying the skies every day on behalf of sick, poor and disaster-affected people worldwide. Here’s a look at just a few of these organizations. Air Care Alliance

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