A deal struck with a company that runs a luxury FBO has given Shell Aviation an impressive presence in the American North West.

Global Aviation, a private air transportation company based in Hillsboro, Oregon, became the first member in the state of Shell Aviation’s network of FBOs earlier this year.
The company’s President Flo Newton said: “There was a long period of negotiations with Shell Aviation, but they really showed that they wanted to work with us and they had the best offer.”

Brian Lockhart, Head of Maintenance, said the company needed a brand association with a fuel provider. “Shell Aviation guaranteed us a reliable supply of fuel, and the Shell Group has one of the best-known corporate logos in the world.”

The company charters aircraft for a range of private and corporate clients and offers the full range of FBO services. It has three hangars that house 20 aircraft, including three Global Express, a Lear 45 and a Hawker 800. All operate with two pilots, as well as a flight attendant on larger planes. If the appropriate aircraft is not available, the company will provide a quote for a comparable aircraft using another pre-approved operator.

As Global Aviation is sited in the heart of the ‘silicon forest’, surrounded by computer companies, such as Intel nearby, it has a ready-made category of clientele in the form of the many business-people who fly in and out of Hillsboro to visit these organisations. It also recently became the authorised supplier of services to aircraft manufacturer Bombardier for three of its aircraft.

Mike Walker, who is in charge of Marketing and Development with Global Aviation, said: “Our FBO operation really is top class. We are an excellent competitive alternative to Portland International Airport in Oregon.”

Lynn Weyerhaeuser, Customer Service Manager with Eastern Aviation Fuels, Shell Aviation’s national marketer partner in the US, said Eastern Aviation Fuels was expanding its business from the eastern half of the country, where it has been trading for 30 years.

“Since we linked with Shell Aviation we have started expanding into the west, so it is great to get Global Aviation on board. This will give us the impetus to approach other FBOs in Oregon and also in Washington.”

Lynn added: “I was knocked out by Global’s FBO facility! It is gorgeous – like going on a spa vacation. Everything was first-class and luxurious.”

It could never be said of Flo Newton that she would ask anyone to do anything she would not do herself. Although she heads Global Aviation, she is still very much involved in the day-to-day charter business and has even been known to crew flights.

“It’s hard to break away from it all,” explained Flo, who founded the company in 1995. She had been running Louisiana-Pacific (L-P) Corp, the eponymous timber giant’s corporate aviation department, since 1981, but it closed down its charter operation. This prompted Flo to decide to work from her home in South West Portland, starting up Global Aviation as an independent broker which would book flights for former L-P clients on private jets owned by other companies. She subsequently acquired a hangar from L-P at Hillsboro Airport, and a second was opened in 2001.

This hangar has a suite of offices, including a boardroom, which is as impressive as the multi-million dollar interiors of Flo’s aircraft. For example, she commissioned American glass artist Dale Chihuly to design a unique chandelier for the glass-domed entrance hall.

Global offers fuel and aviation support for its own aircraft and others travelling through the area, as well as crew services or supplemental crew services. “If someone has a Learjet and their pilot is off ill, we can provide a pilot,” she said.

Her hands-on attitude extends to answering the office phone when necessary and she tries to remain involved to some extent with all aspects of the business. Her peers and competitors sing her praises and she has been described as “very good at dealing with high-level executives – she understands their needs and requirements”.

Article from Shell Aviation – The Blue eNewsletter

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