Hadid International Services has completed its makeover of the FBO at Riviera Airport, Albenga, Italy, and began operations there under the Hadid Riviera brand earlier this month. The Riviera Executive Aviation terminal has been given a new look Hadid says has been “aesthetically designed to harmonize with the area’s history”, offering art installations and an extensive library as well as the standard amenities expected from a high-end private terminal.
Universal Stands Up Dedicated Mykonos Operation
Credit: Universal Aviation
Universal Aviation Greece has stood up a new subsidiary on the island of Mykonos ahead of what managing director Yiannis Arkoulis anticipates will be “a peak season like we’ve never seen”. The Mykonos subsidiary began operations on May 7th, and Universal says they are the first company to have their own staff based on the island. (In common with other Greek islands, there is no traditional FBO, with passengers generally heading straight to the airplane: but there is a lounge available at Mykonos which Universal can book for clients.) The move has been made to provide greater assurance for slot booking and aircraft parking, both issues that have made Mykonos one of the more challenging of the Greek islands for private aircraft to operate into and out of.
Northolt Increases Hours, Trials Weekend Opening During Euro Football Tournament
Credit: Universal Aviation
Further expansion of Universal Aviation’s European operations came in January when the company took over running the general-aviation terminal at London’s Northolt Airport (general manager Rue Ahmed, left, pictured with members of his team). The airfield is an active Royal Air Force station, which has posed some difficulties for bizav in the past. The facility becomes Universal’s second London-region FBO, alongside its operation at Stansted; from today (May 17), operating hours for business aircraft have been extended by three hours, to 0800-2000 local time. The airport is also experimenting with some weekend operations, initially on two Sundays – June 13 and July 11 – when Wembley Stadium will host, respectively, the first match and the final of the European Football Championship.
Air BP Brings SAF To Three UK Bizav Airfields
Credit: Centreline FBO
With business aviation seen as playing a critical role in the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), expanded availability of the synthetic fuels to bizav airfields is becoming key. Last month, Air BP announced it had made its first deliveries of SAF to three airfields in the UK – Biggin Hill, Bristol, and Hawarden. The latter is the airfield owned by Airbus, and among the aircraft to receive SAF at the site is the airframer’s fleet of Beluga transporters; the news follows an announcement last summer that Air BP would provide SAF for Airbus delivery flights from Hamburg’s Finkenwerder Airport. Biggin Hill and the Centreline FBO at Bristol are offering SAF to all customers. The fuel – a 35% blend – is expected to be supplied on an ongoing basis.
Biggin Hill Offers Same-Day PCR Tests
Credit: London Biggin Hill Airport
Following the opening of a COVID-19 testing suite at the airport last November, Biggin Hill is now offering same-day PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test results to all passengers, aircrew and members of the public. PCR tests are considered the most reliable of the various methods by which COVID-19 infections are diagnosed; the airport has offered them since opening its test suite, but turnaround has previously been two days. In further signs the pandemic has not significantly impacted the airport’s growth, Biggin Hill broke ground in March on The Landing, a 56-room four-star hotel which is due to open on site next year.
Farnborough FBO Opens Cafe
Credit: Farnborough Airport
Farnborough Airport has opened a new cafe in its FBO in partnership with luxury caterers On Air Dining. In keeping with the airport’s achievement of carbon-neutral status in 2018, On Air says its ingredients are locally sourced and that every effort is taken to ensure packaging is either compostable or recyclable. The cafe opened on April 15th and serves visitors as well as passengers, crew and airport staff. Dominic Osborne, director of the FBO, says he hopes the cafe “will go on to be the beating heart of Farnborough Airport.”
Consolidation Trend Set To Shake Up Euro FBO Network
Credit: Signature Flight Support
February’s news that Signature Aviation’s board had agreed to sell the company to a consortium formed by the Blackstone Group, Global Infrastructure Partners and Cascade Investment could merely be the first – though surely the biggest – in a series of deals as investors look to capitalize on business aviation’s post-pandemic bounceback. Europe’s fragmented FBO network could well be in the cross-hairs. “FBOs are going to be really valuable land grabs for those who see a flourishing 5-10 years for business aviation,” says Richard Koe, managing director of analyst WingX Advance. “I expect the big players in Europe to start acquiring and consolidating networks: Jet Aviation, Signature, ExecuJet. . . . There could be a race coming on there.”
The fixed base operator network in Europe has undergone a variety of changes, with expansions, upgrades, new subsidiaries and other developments.
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Angus Batey has been contributing to various titles within the Aviation Week Network since 2009, reporting on topics ranging from defense and space to business aviation, advanced air mobility and cybersecurity.