Air Elite Blog

A Strong Foothold in the Caribbean and Latin America

As World Fuel Services’ Senior Vice President of Commercial Aviation – Latin America, overseeing the organization’s growth and fuel supply in the Caribbean and Latin America, I have witnessed firsthand the growth and ongoing strength of the Air Elite Network of unique FBOs.

The Air Elite Network has been on a fast track of growth since the network’s inception in 2011. At that time, there was only a handful of founding FBO members that were previously a part of ExxonMobil’s AVITAT Network of premier FBOs. As ExxonMobil started to exit the business and general aviation fuel market, the Air Elite Network of Diamond Service Locations was born.

Simultaneously, one of the largest fuel providers in the Caribbean, Chevron Global Aviation, announced its plan to selectively withdraw from the business of supplying aviation fuel in the region. This turn of events left Caribbean FBOs searching for support from a trusted fuel and support services provider. Many of these FBOs chose World Fuel Services as their partner and still enjoy the reliable fuel supply we provide in the region to this day.

Furthermore, a select few leading Caribbean FBOs took notice of the formation of the Air Elite Network and became some of the first adopters and believers in Air Elite’s potential for growth and the true value of the network’s service promise. It is this belief and the trust that these FBOs placed in World Fuel Services and the network, in its infancy, that allowed the network to take a strong foothold in the industry and begin to establish itself as the global network of uniquely exceptional FBOs it is today.

To this day, the Caribbean region represents World Fuel Services well with six Air Elite Diamond Service Locations. It is one of the best developed regions in the Western Hemisphere for our fuel business, outside of North America. This strong development in the region is built around our strong supply capabilities. This includes our physical fuel supply in Puerto Rico and our supply of mobile ISO containers from Puerto Rico and the US mainland.

On the physical supply front in Puerto Rico, we provide fuel to a total of five FBOs on the island, as well as several commercial carriers. Our FBO partners have experienced significant volume growth due to their ability to provide fuel and other services to the bustling commercial traffic visiting the island.

On the ISO front, we supply four Air Elite members out of multiple facilities in the US and Puerto Rico. This gives us the capability to place Jet fuel (Jet-A) or aviation gasoline (Avgas 100LL) anywhere within the region with just a few days’ notice. The use of these ISO containers also provides temporary storage for some of the more remote islands. Our ISO program has helped provide our FBO partners with independent sources of supply, which is a critical part of their sustained success.

In Latin America, where there are an additional four Air Elite diamond locations, we provide fuel through strategic partnerships for competitive supply.  Our commitment is to not only supply fuel, but to support the FBO offering with marketing, customer service training and industry products and services. These Air Elite locations were established to ensure connectivity between our Caribbean locations and a presence in Latin America with reputable FBO operators.  As the operating model in Latin America continues to evolve, we are certain you will see more Air Elite FBOs in this region in the coming years.

These unique supply strengths, in conjunction with our investment in new infrastructure to augment our regional footprint, continue to build the foundation for our Air Elite members in the future.  This ensures that World Fuel Services will continue to deliver sustained value and service for our flight operator, airport and FBO customers and live out the grand commitment made many years ago when the Air Elite Network program was founded.

From all of us at World Fuel Services, we thank you for visiting our Air Elite Network Diamond Service Locations and we are forever grateful for the ongoing support and trust our FBO partners place in us.

Richard Hoppe
SVP Commercial Aviation – Latin America
World Fuel Services

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