Established in January 1973, the global supplier of aviation fuel and services Avfuel Corp looks forward to celebrating a half a century of progress all through 2023. From special promotions and events to giveaways and trivia, the fuel supplier's team is hard at work planning a 12 month golden jubilee, with details coming in the new year.
“To say we're excited to mark this milestone is an understatement,” says senior vice president of sales Joel Hirst. “We're not just celebrating a milestone year, we're celebrating all the progress that has been made over the decades. It's an opportune time to reflect on where Avfuel started and how all the hard work over the years has shaped the company, its customers and the industry we love. It's also a time to look ahead, to envision how Avfuel can continue to be on the cutting edge of aviation services as the needs of the industry continue to shift. That's a legacy of innovation at work. We'll take the time to celebrate, but we will use it as motivation to further push the envelope, ushering in the next generation of general aviation.”
When Avfuel started operations it was a small, regional fuel supplier, mainly serving Michigan and some surrounding Midwest states. When Craig Sincock acquired the company in 1985, he had a vision for the three-employee operation. He saw the potential and has worked diligently ever since to grow and nurture the company in a way that better serves the needs of the aviation industry.
Over 50 years, with an unwavering dedication to aviation, and only aviation, the company evolved from a modest regional operation to the industry's first comprehensive supplier of aviation fuel and services, operating on a global scale with more than 1,000 employees. With industry counterparts following suit, the definition of a fuel supplier and the inner workings of the aviation industry as a whole were forever changed.
“When we leapt onto the market, no one was doing what we set out to do,” says president and CEO Craig Sincock. “We didn't know we shouldn't compete with the major oil companies who were the aviation fuel suppliers at the time. It maybe wasn't the best business plan, but it worked. We asked questions of our customers, listened to their needs and developed solutions to meet those needs. We were the first fuel supplier to offer a complete suite of services that surround the fuel, including pilot rewards; contract fuel for corporate flight departments; in-house aviation insurance; trip support; on-demand marketing support; on-demand tax support; in-house 24/7 quality assurance and training; an in-house OEM for refueller trucks and sustainable solutions, such as sustainable aviation fuel and carbon credits. That's from where our moniker, Fuel … and So Much More, stems.
“Now, you'd be hard pressed to find a fuel supplier that doesn't offer, say, fuel rewards. It's expected. It's become a standard service. The difference is Avfuel is always looking to go beyond standard. We're not content to fall back on our accomplishments. We're constantly looking for new ways to push the envelope, new ways to lead the industry and add value to the fuel supplier partnership. That's how we not only survived for 50 years, but thrived for 50 years. It's also how we'll continue to grow for the next 50 years as we not only welcome a new generation of general aviation, but support its vitality.”
The fuel supplier may not have a crystal ball, but it does have experts on hand dedicated to analysing the market and looking into the future. As such, Avfuel is constantly keeping its pulse on innovative new technologies that have the potential to alter aviation as we know it. Many of these technologies would require the supply chain to adapt; technologies in sustainability, electrification and air mobility.
“When we look into the future, we're excited and inspired,” says executive vice president CR Sincock. “In another 50 years, will we be a fuel company? Perhaps. Or perhaps, more likely, we'll be an energy company, providing solutions for electric, SAF and hydrogen power sources. Whatever Avfuel will be, it will exist to serve its customers and the industry we love. So yes, while we celebrate an extraordinary 50 years of growth, our story isn't nearly complete. We will continue to listen, to evolve and to lead. That's what it takes to be 'an original'. That's where a legacy of innovation will take you.”