In 2015, business is good for private aviation and fixed-based operators (FBOs) that cater to private jet rentals. With about 3,000 FBOs throughout the U.S., those rated as the best by Aviation International News (AIN) stood out because of their exceptional, above-standard customer service. The best FBOs also excel in passenger amenities, facilities, line services and pilot amenities. Other important factors considered in the top FBOs include cleanliness, fuel costs, line service training, and a property’s infrastructure and décor.
Best FBOs for Your Executive Jet Charters
AirFlight Aviation Services | Long Beach Airport (KLGB)
Operated out of Long Beach, CA, AirFlight consistently makes the apex of AIN’s annual list of top performing FBOs. In business for over 20 years, the Toyota-owned FBO ranked the highest in regards to line service and its facilities. It also has exceptional passenger and pilot amenities, and customer services representatives (CSRs).
AirFlight’s 70,000 square feet of hanger space accommodates the largest class of ultra-long-range business charter jets. The CSRs are known for providing superior services to passengers and crewmembers, who are often on the road 25 days each month. Like CSRs, the line service staff participates in the Ritz-Carlton’s customer service training program.
J.A. Air Center | Aurora Municipal Airport (KARR)
Located in Sugar Grove, IL, J.A. Air Center is on par with AirFlight Aviation in regards to passenger and pilot amenities, and CSRs. Celebrating 50 years of business, the Phillips 66-owned FBO is one of the few area airports that can accommodate a Boeing 737. Its 125,000-square-foot hanger fits aircrafts as large as a Gulfstream 650.
As a Corporate Aircraft Association-preferred FBO, the J.A. Air Center is a short drive to downtown Chicago, but also has the advantage of not having Class B airspace, making it even simpler to fly in and out of the city. The FBO is open 24 hours on a daily basis and has one of the largest avionics shops in the country, along with an aircraft management division, interiors shop and maintenance division. J.A. Air Center also recently added valet parking for its customers, where specialists detail cars and keep them in a heated facility.
XJet | Centennial Airport (KAPA)
With FBOs in London, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Paris, X-Jet’s Englewood, CO, location is known for its “seven-star customer service.” While the FBO has a jet-owner club, it leases hanger space to non-member charter aircraft during peak seasons.
Excelling in customer service and line service, XJet prides itself in being a service company rather than FBO or aviation company. Its menu of amenities includes an “auto spa” that details and maintains customer vehicles, as well as on-site Bentleys and Ferraris available for test drives.
Fargo Jet Center | Hector International (KFAR)
A popular tech stop for national and international flights, the Fargo Jet Center is one of the top-rated FBOs in the country because of its passenger amenities, which include an adjacent 24-hour customs and immigrations center that’s open daily. The Fargo Jet Center is detailed oriented, earning high marks in customer service. The FBO provides valet parking to every customer and guest, which makes a big difference when the mercury plummets during the winter.
A member of the Paragon Aviation Network, the FBO boasts a new 30,000-square-foot heated hanger that accommodates ultra-long-range business charter jets, along with the existing 145,000-square-foot hangar. The Fargo Jet Center also added 30,000 square feet of ramp, giving its operations about 10 acres.
Other notable FBOs in the country include:
- Jet Aviation at Palm Beach International, Florida (KPBI)
- Atlantic Aviation, Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, Missouri (KMKC)
- Signature Flight Support at Minneapolis-St Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport and St Paul Downtown Holman Field, Minnesota