Annual FBO fuels sales survey and industry forecast announced

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The Aviation Business Strategies Group (ABSG) has released the results of its Annual FBO Fuel Sales Survey, where it poses questions to FBOs and then collates the responses. While 2016 is said to have shown mixed results, ABSG says that the survey indicates a marked increase in confidence in the economy for 2017, with the prediction of hefty fuel sales.

According to ABSG principals John Enticknap and Ron Jackson, one third of the FBOs that responded from the USA reported a decrease in fuel sales during 2016, while 47% recorded increases ranging from 1% to more than 8% year-on-year. Meanwhile, 93% said they expected at least the same sales for 2017, or an increase from 1% up to 8%.

Enticknap said, “Last year was truly a mixed bag for FBO fuel sales. It was bittersweet for the industry as more than 30% of the FBOs surveyed showed a decline, yet the very top performers, nearly 20%, reported an increase in fuel sales of more than 8%.

“Recovery in the number of hours flown by the business aviation aircraft fleet is slow to come, although 2016 showed incremental improvement from month-to-month compared with 2015. Moving forward, we need to see a more positive and robust consistency in this metric. Secondly, many believe the prolonged presidential election cycle caused uncertainty in the economy.”

Jackson added, “When asked if the economy was headed in the right direction, a resounding 54% said ‘yes’ compared with just 8% responding ‘no’, while 38% were undecided. This is a very bullish outlook going forward. By comparison, in last year’s survey, only 27% said the economy was headed in the right direction.”

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