In its own distinctive way, Signature Flight Support helps the business and general aviation communities take to the skies. The company, one of the world's largest providers of fixed-base operations (FBO) services, offers a full-slate of support, from fueling and ground handling to hangar and office rentals, and maintenance. Signature Flight Support's network consists of more than 100 FBO facilities at airports in Africa, the Asia/Pacific region, Europe, South America, and the US. The company is a unit of UK-based BBA Aviation, accounting for about 40% of BBA Aviation's revenue. Signature Flight Support was founded in 1992 when Butler Aviation and Page Avjet merged.
Signature Flight Support, like its peers, is struggling with the global economic downturn and a steep drop in demand in the aviation industry. The company managed to keep a key customer. Leading fractional jet ownership firm NetJets inked a new five-year deal with Signature Flight Support. The agreement calls for Signature to be the exclusive provider of fuel throughout North America to NetJets' fleet of more than 800 aircraft.
Despite market conditions, Signature Flight Support has added a number of FBOs to its network. During 2008 parent company BBA Aviation paid about $129 million to acquire seven FBOs from Hawker Beechcraft Services: Atlanta; Houston; Indianapolis; San Antonio; Tampa; Van Nuys, California; and Wichita, Kansas. The US Department of Justice approved the deal but required Signature Flight Support to divest duplicate operations in Indianapolis.
Internationally, Signature Flight Support picked up Southern Aero Services, which owns Interflight Executive Aircraft Services (sole provider of FBO services at London Gatwick Airport). BAA acquired MES Handling, an FBO facility at Munich International Airport, opening the door for Signature Flight Support to expand in Germany. The extension continued with Signature Flight Support agreeing in 2009 to a commercial partnership with Aviapartner, enabling a presence in Nice -- the fifth largest airport in Europe. – less