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Encore acquires more FBOs to build global network
U.S. headquartered Encore FBO has acquired Euralair Airport Services in Paris and FBO Dublin in Ireland as it pursues its ambition to create an integrated global handling network. Encore ceo and president Dan Bucaro says: "This is the first step in creating an international FBO network. FBO Dublin provides first-rate hand-ling services and we look forward to expanding their offering with fueling services."

U.S. headquartered Encore FBO has acquired Euralair Airport Services in Paris and FBO Dublin in Ireland as it pursues its ambition to create an integrated global handling network. Encore ceo and president Dan Bucaro says: "This is the first step in creating an international FBO network. FBO Dublin provides first-rate hand-ling services and we look forward to expanding their offering with fueling services."

Platform Partners, an investment holding company, is financing the acquisition programme, Bucaro adds. Encore facilities in Dublin and Dallas Addison will provide internet access, computerised weather and flight planning, conference rooms and concierge services. Based in Houston, Texas, Encore also owns Trajen Systems and Trajen DOD businesses which operate in California and Texas.

Encore's move into Ireland reflects a growing awareness of the potential for U.S.-style FBO services in Europe and in emerging private aircraft regions such as the Middle East.

The U.S.-based Mercury Air Group is to manage a new FBO in Kuwait for the United Projects Company International Airport (KWI). A new terminal at Kuwait will begin operations in the last quarter of 2007. Mercury says: "The facility will incorporate many amenities and services including concierge provision, a conference centre, meeting rooms, upmarket customer and pilot lounges, and fine dining."

FBOs are responding to customer demand with increasingly sophisticated services and facilities (as reported in EBAN's '07 FBO survey).

Meanwhile, a U.K. FBO operator is claiming a first after introducing an online quoting and booking system. Tim Gill, marketing manager of FAL Aviation U.K.-based at London Ashford Airport (Lydd) in Kent, says: "The system allows brokers, clients and charter operators to get real-time pricing for handling services including accommodation, catering and out-of-hours charges. The system even automatically generates passenger manifests for customs and immigration services."

Gill adds: "This is the only online solution of its kind in Europe that we are aware of and represents a major innovation in the corporate aviation industry."

The industry standard is for FBOs to respond to enquiries by manually calculating the cost of providing the handling services requested, Gill says.

ExecuJet opens in Dubai ExecuJet, which has officially opened its new Dubai airport FBO facility, is planning fleet expansion. The current charter fleet, which includes the Learjet 60, the Challenger 604 and the Global Express, is being joined by a Cessna Citation III.

Mike Berry, md, ExecuJet Middle East, says: "The Middle East and Dubai especially is becoming a very important hub for business aviation. The demand we have experienced has really been incredible in our first year and the investment in new facilities and an expanded charter fleet will serve us well into the future."

ExecuJet, whose operations include aircraft sales, management and maintenance as well as charter, is the exclusive international sales distributor for Grob Aerospace's SPn.

It reports increasing demand for the eight seat light jet. "Some private customers who have ordered the SPn are from the Middle East," Niall Olver, ceo of both ExecuJet and Grob Aerospace confirms.

Signature Flight Support has refurbished its Dublin FBO and expanded its services despite the anticipated move of GA to a dedicated area on the west side of the airport in 2007. David Best, md, says: "We continually seek to improve the service to our customers." Signature is providing a dedicated fuel bowser from this spring.

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