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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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Related background information from the Handbook...

Dassault Falcon Service
FBO/Handler (Le Bourget / Paris)

ExecuJet Belgium
FBO/Handler (Brussels National / Brussels)

Farnborough Airport
FBO/Handler (Farnborough)

Grafair Jet Center
FBO/Handler (Bromma / Stockholm)

FBO/Handler (Palma de Mallorca)

Signature Aviation
FBO/Handler (Munich)

Vienna Airport FBO
FBO/Handler (Schwechat / Vienna)

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Personal service lifts rivals closer to the ever-popular Mallorcair
Grafair's spectacular progress from 24th to third favourite FBO of EBAN readers is based on the same "nothing is too much trouble for a client" philosophy that has propelled the ever-popular Mallorcair to first place for four years running.

Grafair's spectacular progress from 24th to third favourite FBO of EBAN readers is based on the same "nothing is too much trouble for a client" philosophy that has propelled the ever-popular Mallorcair to first place for four years running. Mall

orcair, known as the FBO with the sunny smile, and Grafair, are geographically and climatically far apart: one is based in sunny Palma de Mallorca and the other in the colder climes of Bromma in Stockholm where snow is not unusual. But both service business outside Europe's busiest private aircraft routes and take full advantage of what they perceive as the personal service "advantage" of smaller FBOs.

Grafair Jet Center FBO manager Johan Emmoth says: "We give the clients exactly what they want - be it a la carte French cuisine or be it McDonalds and French fries. And if the client expresses a wish for a small item from somewhere in Sweden that they find it difficult to get to, we fetch it for them." Similarly Mallorcair will deliver ensaimada to a flight at 5.30 a.m. in the morning if a client expresses a preference for the Majorcan cake speciality.

But the busy "prime route" FBO that has moved up to second place has proved it can cope with high volumes of traffic and ensure a personal service to rival Mallorcair and Grafair. TAG Farnborough ceo Brandon O'Reilly says: "Our service is bespoke and we understand each individual's needs. Although we are equipped to deal with high volumes of traffic this is not allowed to detract from individual service. A large percentage of our traffic consists of high calibre highly organised business individuals and they comparatively rarely need our help but if and when they do we pull out all the stops. Our current success would not be possible without the high standards of teamwork and bespoke service that our frontline and back office staff give. The staff are tremendous and the word 'no' features in their vocabulary seldom or not at all and is certainly not an initial response. The preferred answer to requests is 'yes immediately' and the second answer is 'I'll work on finding a way and get back to you as soon as possible'. The staff have been the cornerstone of our success."

TAG Farnborough has the advantage of superb facilities and is also a dedicated business aviation airport but Mallorcair at Palma is also improving facilities as it fights to keep at bay the seemingly ever stronger challenge from TAG Farnborough, Grafair Bromma and MES Handling of Munich who have pushed up from sixth to fourth.

Mallorcair is investing in a new hangar and reports that traffic has increased around 15 per cent from 2006. The team has also been expanded with two more staff.

Grafair menus are receiving special attention as it works to further improve service levels in 2008. "We are working with Muhren Inflight Catering. The company is a top restauranteur and we want their dining standards replicated onboard."

Owner Bengt Grafstrom says: "I visited so many FBOs as a pilot and businessman that I am entirely clear in my own mind what we should offer down to the very last detail."

Emmoth adds: "Our staff are excellent. They ensure that each succeeding day we do the same thing but we try to do it better. But we are not competing in a very high business level environment like Paris or London. We believe that our improved standing in the EBAN FBO customer rating survey is partly because we can take the time and trouble to get to know our customers as individuals. But the initial lower placing is also partly because we are a relatively new FBO that has, perhaps, taken a little while to get wider recognition and recommendation because we may not be on everybody's regular route."

Responding quickly to feedback is key - as is keeping up with industry advances and developments. "We travel widely and use FBOs and absorb the best ideas and adapt them and improve them for Bromma," says Emmoth who, like other senior management, is a pilot. "At the same time we listen to the clients and we learn from them."

The Grafair FBO was founded only in November 2004. "Before that we didn't have any FBO in Sweden. "Bengt Grafstrom has lived in the U.S. since 1976. He is used to U.S. standards with exemplary service and he has been flying as a jet pilot for 40 years and has visited FBOs around the world so he knows exactly what pilots would like and expect," says Emmoth. "That, and our very hard working staff, is why we are so successful and the pilots give us good references all the time. "

Highlights and special congratulations

  • Mallorcair voted best FBO for the fourth year running despite increasing competition
  • Grafair voted third, up from 24th in 2007 as its reputation for service spreads
  • TAG Farnborough, up from fourth to second through maintaining personal service despite phenomenal traffic growth
  • MES Handling, up from sixth to fourth, despite the rising standards of other FBOs
  • Abelag Handling, DFS of Paris Le Bourget and VIP Aviation for breaking into the top ten n Vienna Aircraft Handling who have come from nowhere to register at No. 9

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