Beyond the tarmac: A look at Air Service Hawaii FBO

Air Service Hawaii (ASH) is a well-regarded FBO providing various aircraft services throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Billing itself as the ‘Friendliest FBO in Hawaii,’ it seeks to offer essential aviation facilities with a unique Aloha spirit of warmth and friendliness. Tracing its origin back to 1948, ASH has established itself as a key member of the Hawaiian aviation community. Previously a locally-owned chain, Air Service Hawaii was acquired by Denver-based Ross Aviation in May 2022. Ross Aviation merged with Atlantic Aviation in July of the same year, bringing Atlantic’s network to over 100 FBO locations across North America.

Air Service Hawaii quick info

  • Founded: 1948
  • Type: Fixed Based Operator
  • Locations: Honolulu, Lanai, Maui, Hilo, Kauai, and Kona
  • Parent Company: Atlantic Aviation
  • Services: Jet fueling, concierge, ground handling services, etc.

Overview of Air Service Hawaii

As an FBO, Air Service Hawaii specializes in providing jet fuel, aviation gasoline, and concierge ground handling services for business, commercial, and private aircraft. It serves many aviation businesses throughout the Hawaiian Islands, from helicopter tour companies and business jet operators to commercial airlines.

Before its acquisition by Ross, Air Services Hawaii was the sole locally-owned and managed FBO in the state. In May 2022, the Hawaiian company passed over its ownership to Ross Aviation, a highly regarded Denver-based franchise.

Air Service Hawaii delivers aviation services from 6 FBO locations at airports scattered throughout the islands. The aviation company maintains its flagship aircraft location in Honolulu and has a presence in Lanai, Maui, Hilo, Kauai, and Kona.

Founded in 1948, Air Services Hawaii has scored shares of many ‘aviation firsts to islands. Its recent development includes establishing the first purpose-built FBO terminal and business hangar at Kona International Airport (KOA). The new 5,000 sq ft terminal will feature many high-end amenities, including a spacious lounge with Wi-Fi access, on-site catering with cold storage, car rental, etc., to create clients’ best arrival and departure experience.

The 38,000-sq-ft business jet hangar is Kona’s first dedicated GA infrastructure to host the latest large-cabin aircraft. The FBO complex at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA) is slated for completion later this year.

Air Service Hawaii: Facilities and services provided

Air Service Hawaii provides various aviation services across its six-location FBO network in the Hawaiian islands. These include:

  • Jet fuel: Honolulu-based Air Services Hawaii provides jet fuel (Jet-A) and aviation gasoline for business, commercial, and private aircraft.
  • Concierge services: Concierge services aim to enhance the overall experience for passengers and crew and include travel arrangements, catering, and ground transportation.
  • Ground handling: Towing, parking, and marshaling of aircraft (including business jets, general aviation aircraft, and commercial jets)
  • Hangar services: The premier Hawaiian company provides aircraft storage, maintenance, and preservation rental options.
  • Terminal facilities cater to the needs of private and business aviation travelers, creating a comfortable and efficient experience

Purchase of Air Service Hawaii by Ross Aviation

Air Service Hawaii was the only locally-owned FBO in Hawaii until Ross Aviation bought it in 2022. The move resulted in the expansion of Ross Aviation’s FBO network into the Pacific, with a total number of locations reaching 25. The Denver-based company purchased the Hawaiian company, stating that it matched Ross’s flight hospitality standards impeccably. The acquisition of Air Service Hawaii and its six facilities allowed Ross to set up its foothold in the Western Pacific.

Before ASH’s purchase, the KSL and Jeff Ross-founded Ross Aviation maintained 19 FBOs across the US and the Caribbean. The aerospace company was established in 2016 with KSL Capital Partners (KSL) as the principal shareholder. The investment firm KKR acquired Ross Aviation in 2021, becoming a significant majority investor.

Merger of Ross Aviation and Atlantic Aviation

Amid the frantic pace of the FBO merger movement, Ross Aviation and Atlantic Aviation announced a business merger in July 2022. The combination brought together two leading aviation companies to create an even stronger geographic reach and deliver a superb customer experience.

The newly combined company leverages Ross’ differentiated approach to flight hospitality and Atlantic’s unparalleled network to position itself as a aviation infrastructure and operations leader. Operating as Atlantic Aviation, the combined company now has one of the largest FBO networks, representing over 100+ locations across North America.

Reasons for merger

  • Create a desirable aviation infrastructure platform
  • Set new standards in safety, innovation, and hospitality
  • Be at the forefront of technology and sustainability
  • Stretch Atlantic’s geographical coverage and bolster its operational leadership
  • Increase investment in a broader network of aviation infrastructures
  • Offer efficient and friendly FBO services throughout North America
  • Drive long-term sustainable growth of the company
  • Achieve operational excellence and outstanding customer service feedback

Rebranding and integration of Air Service Hawaii locations

Air Service Hawaii’s parent company, Atlantic Aviation, has fully integrated six former ASH locations into its network. These locations include:

  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Honolulu (HNL)
  • Lanai Airport, Maui County (LNY)
  • Kahului Airport, Maui (OGG)
  • Hilo International Airport, Hilo (ITO)
  • Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA)

Not only are these former ASH locations integrated into the wider Atlantic network, but they are also rebranded to reflect the new identity. While the signage and stage uniforms align with Atlantic’s style, each location will continue to maintain the traditional Hawaiian hospitality. Atlantic Aviation Company seeks to keep up Hawaii’s rich aviation heritage to deliver effective services to customers in the Western Pacific.

Four of 6 FBO facilities, including those at Honolulu, Maui, Kona, and Hilo, feature US Customs service.

About Atlantic Aviation

Atlantic Aviation is a Plano, Texas-based corporation providing flight hospitality services with 100+ FBO locations. Established in 1927, the company has created a successful growth record by acquiring top-notch FBOs. It touts one of the largest networks of fixed-based operators offering services for GA aircraft owners and pilots. Notable locations include:

  • Texas (Addison, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas Love, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio)
  • California (Napa Valley, Bakersfield, Burbank, Carlsbad, Fresno, Yosemite, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Stockton, San Jose, Santa Monica, and Palm Springs)
  • New York (East 34th St. Heliport, Elmira, Farmingdale, Westchester, Lanai, and Stewart)
  • Florida (Boca Raton, Bakersfield, Destin, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, St. Augustine, Sarasota, and Stuart)
  • Massachusetts (Westfield, Bedford, Hyannis, Worcester, etc.)

Atlantic Aviation Services

  • Business aircraft: fueling, deicing, executive passenger terminals, hotel arrangements, gourmet cleaning, potable water, air start, GPU, quick turns, etc.
  • Hangars: Hangar space for tenants or transient travelers
  • Commercial and cargo aircraft: The same array of services available for business clients
  • Military aircraft: Services similar to those available for business customers
  • International operations: Welcoming international operators
  • Aircraft maintenance: through Flightcraft; locations include Portland (PDX), Eugene (EUG), Hailey (SUN), Napa Valley (APC), and Lincoln (LNK)

The world’s largest FBO

While Atlantic Aviation operates the second-largest FBO network across North America, the world’s largest FBO chain title goes to Signature Flight Support. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Signature boasts a widespread global network spanning over 200 locations across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Also Read: The cherry on the va-cake-tion: 6 best airlines to fly to Hawaii

Signature Flight Support is a long-standing leader in fixed-based operations, with extensive networks, a comprehensive range of services, and a good reputation. It has the largest FBO network in North America, followed by Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Signature Hawaii FBO

Despite being the world’s largest FBO, Signature loses out to Atlantic regarding Hawaiian presence. The Orlando-headquartered company only has 1 FBO location in Hawaii, while Atlantic Aviation has a six-location FBO network.

Signature’s Hawaii FBO is located at 73-360 U’u Street, Kailua Kona. It opens at 08:00 local time and operates until 17:00. Notable features include courtesy crew cars, a crew room, a passenger lounge, rental cars, customs & immigration, Wi-Fi, etc.

Likewise, the FBO’s specialties incorporate traditional lei greetings, complimentary magazines, fruits, hot chocolates, Satellite TV, etc. Support services range from fuel system icing inhibitor, GPU VBD, and aircraft cleaning to taxi service, fort lift, belt loader, etc.

Services provided by Signature Flight Support

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel: Offer permanent supplies of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to combat climate change and minimize CO2 emissions. As the largest FBO, Signature invigorates its journey towards net-zero Co2 emission and aggressively expands SAF availability to airports worldwide.
  • Customer Sales Solution: Tailored customer solution programs, including transport category charters, cargo handling, aircraft handling, into-plane fueling, international flight sales, military and government sales, etc.
  • Maintenance: MRO, non-destructive testing, AOG support, parts warehouse, NG avionics, ADS-B installations, interior refurbishment, etc.
  • ELITE Class: This exclusive Signature service incorporates a leisurely, private luxury experience on a commercial flight. Customers can choose time-appropriate catering options, a chauffeured drive, VIP services, and a comfortable Signature lounge.
  • Real State: A suite of benefits for Signature tenants, including discounted fuel, free ground power on departure, first-priority hangar space, etc.
You May Also Like