AirFlite Voted #1 In 2016 AIN Survey of Corporate Pilots.

Long Beach Airport/Daugherty
Field (KLGB), Long Beach, Calif.

B737 smallAirFlite is a perennial top performer in AIN’s annual survey. This independent, Toyota-owned FBO garnered the overall top ranking from AIN’s readers this year, and in the process earned the top score in the categories of passenger and pilot amenities.  In the same facility at Long Beach Airport for nearly a quarter-century, the company lavishes attention on it to keep the 34,000-sq-ft terminal looking immaculate and fresh. Always eager to stay on the cutting edge of technology, the company upgraded its Wi-Fi connectivity over the past year with a highspeed,
fiber-optic Internet connection, a project that involved installing nearly a mile of underground cable to the airport, to give customers the same data streaming speed they expect at home. The facility, one of five service providers on the field, claims 40 percent of the GA traffic at the airport, and general manager John Tary reported a 5-percent gain in business over the past year, which translated to a total jet fuel flowage of 1.5 million gallons for the location last year. He also noted full occupancy of the FBO’s 60,000 sq ft of community hangars (which can accommodate aircraft up to a G650), and 65,000 sq ft of private hangars suited for small jets and turboprops. Currently it is home to 25 turbine-powered aircraft ranging from a G550 to a pair of PC-12s. A customer’s
MD-85, too large to be sheltered, stays outdoors.

Customer Service Focus As it is at any top performing FBO, superior customer service is a given, and AirFlite’s staff earned the second highest score in the category over the past three years. “We always empower our associates to do whatever is necessary,” said Tary, who is also a G550-rated pilot in Toyota’s flight department. “We put a lot of faith and trust in our folks to do the right thing for the customer, whatever that takes.” Aside from the Ritz Carlton training, the staff follows Tary’s lead. “Being a pilot,

I’ve been on the other side of the fence, and I know what the customer wants,” he told AIN. “In our mind, to do exactly what the customer asks you to do is 85 percent. The other 15 percent is the unexpressed things that we also try to do.” As part of the Toyota empire, AirFlite’s staff has access to company-wide job listings and it occasionally experiences staff vacancies as team members move to other areas within the corporation. Tary spends three days personally instructing new employees in the FBO’s and Toyota’s customer service and safety culture. “The biggest thing I always try to instill in our CSRs is that our clients are not just our guests at AirFlite,” said Tary. “We’re hosts to them but we’re also ambassadors to our city.” To that end, training includes taking the CSR staff on city tours to familiarize them with locations so they can provide directions and recommendations.

To establish cohesiveness between the CSR staff and line service technicians, the company occasionally has members of both swap roles for the day, “so they can experience each other’s trials and tribulations,” said Tary. “A lot of places I’ve visited, customer service and line service don’t always work together that well, and you can see it… because the left hand is not talking to the right hand.” AirFlite was a founding member of the Air Elite network, which now has 51 locations. The company has taken on a mentorship role in the network, according to Tary. It hosts “mini-internships” where member locations can send their own general managers or customer service supervisors to see firsthand what brings Air- Flite’s satisfied customers back year after year, and report back to their companies. That satisfaction can take many forms, including one recent situation where the wife of one of the FBO’s tenants wanted to surprise her husband with a new Gulfstream G550. She managed to purchase the new aircraft without his knowledge and–with the help of the conspiring FBO staff–lured him to a conference room packed with his friends. As the group yelled surprise, his attention was drawn to the new twinjet parked just outside on the ramp, wearing a bright red bow.

AirFlite Voted #1 In 2015 AIN Survey of Corporate Pilots.


Long Beach Airport (KLGB),
Long Beach, Calif.
Landing at the top in last year’s survey with an overall score of 9.6, AirFlite shares the honors again this year, according to AIN’s readers, earning top scores in three of the five survey categories. Clearly
a case of getting it right the first time, the Toyota-owned FBO has occupied the same 34,000-sq-ft building at the Los Angeles-area airport for the past 23 years. “We always reinvest in the infrastructure, one way or the other,” explained general manager John Tary. “We’re continuously upgrading what we have and investing in new technologies.” Among the refurbishments over the past year were a $100,000 redesign of the customer service desk and audio-visual equipment upgrades for the conference rooms, which seat 12 and 25, respectively.
The facility’s 70,000 sq ft of hangar space, which can accommodate the latest class of ultra-long-range business jets, has reached 85-percent occupancy, according to Tary, with 20 based turbine aircraft ranging from Gulfstream G450s to a Pilatus PC-12. While the number of large jets at the FBO (including a tenant’s MD-85, which remains outdoors) has remained fairly constant, the company has noted a recent influx of midsize jets.
One of AirFlite’s trump cards lies in Tary himself, who also serves as a G550 pilot in Toyota’s flight department. Not averse to integrating other winning strategies, when he learns of a flight that will be visiting another successful FBO, he requests to be assigned that trip. Such real-life industry involvement allows him to share an invaluable perspective with his staff. “We try to make this pilot-centric,” he told AIN. “All of our customer service initiatives are really based on my experience of going to hundreds of FBOs and trying to educate our CSRs to be able to understand and empathize with the crewmember who is on the road for 25 days a month.”
With that in mind, the front-desk staff is aware of all the newest hot spots, local events and latest activities and can quickly recommend a pleasant diversion, from electric bicycle tours to movie screenings at the beach. AirFlite has participated in Ritz- Carlton’s customer service training program since long before it was a requirement for FBOs in World Fuel’s Air Elite network, of which the FBO was a founding member. This year for the first time, the location’s line service staff will participate alongside the CSR staff. In one recent situation, a tenant pilot realized while boarding an airliner across the airport that he had left his cellphone in his car at the FBO. Using his copilot’s phone, he called the FBO. An AirFlite CSR scooped up the phone, navigated the outside perimeter of the airport, cleared security and somehow convinced the gate agent to re-open the cabin door and have a flight attendant reunite the pilot with his phone, much to the astonishment of his fellow passengers. “I’m sure they wanted to jump him, but that’s another story,” said Tary.
Until recently the location was also home to Toyota’s North American flight operations, but with the migration of its U.S. headquarters and flight department to Texas from California, industry speculation is rife regarding the future of the highly regarded facility.

AirFlite Voted #1 In 2014 AIN Survey of Corporate Pilots.

Long Beach Airport (KLGB),
Long Beach, Calif.

AirFlite is evidence that you don’t need a brand-new facility to achieve high recognition by customers. The Southern California FBO this year garnered the highest overall score in the history of the AIN FBO survey. Perennially a highly rated FBO, the company has been in the same building at Long Beach Airport for the past 22 years, yet it shared the top score for facilities in this year’s survey, testimony to the care and upkeep the terminal receives. “It’s a continual remodeling cycle,” explained general manager John Tary, who noted that the company last year updated its two conference rooms, which seat 12 and 25, respectively, adding audiovisual capabilities. Slated for this year is a $100,000 redesign of the FBO’s front desk. AirFlite’s mission statement reads, in part, “to deliver a superior, innovative, and continually improving customer experience,” and its top score of 9.7 in passenger amenities makes it clear that our survey respondents believe the facility hits the mark. The company strives to make sure its terminal is equipped with the latest passenger conveniences, from wireless printers that can be accessed by customers’ portable devices, to strategically located charging stations for those devices. “We try to keep on the edge of what’s out there,” Tary told AIN.

As a founding member of World Fuel’s Air Elite network, the company enthusiastically participates in network sponsored programs such as Ritz-Carlton training for its customer service representatives, which it hopes will raise its impressive 9.6 CSR score even higher. Owned by Toyota, AirFlite is also home to the carmaker’s North American flight department, of which Tary is a member as a Gulfstream G550- and GIV-rated pilot. In his spare time he flies around California in his personal light aircraft, making sure to visit other FBOs along the way and to look around. “It’s always good to keep an eye on the competition,” he noted. “We’re not always the first creative ones to get it, but if we see a good idea that we can implement, we want to do that.” The addition of Aircare Solutions as a major tenant and its Southern California aircrew training center last summer exposed the location to an even wider range of pilots. While the company reported flat jet fuel sales in the first half of last year, it noticed a definite increase in traffic in the second half, finishing the year with an overall sales volume of approximately 1.2 million gallons. The FBO handles virtually anything that flies, from advertising blimps to news helicopters to professional sports charter airliners to massive Antonov freighters. It claims 45 percent of GA jet fuel sales at the airport.

Antonov-124 Brings Satellite for Launch to KLGB

AirFlite was proud to service the Antonov 124 bringing the EUTELSAT 3B  Satellite from Airbus Defense and Space for launch from Long Beach based Sea Launch.

The spacecraft for the EUTELSAT 3B mission contracted for launch by Sea Launch has been delivered on February 19th to the “Home Port” launch complex in Long Beach, California. Following unloading, the satellite was delivered to the clean room area of the 16-acre payload processing facility, where mission operations and integration efforts are now underway.
After standalone spacecraft operations are completed, EUTELSAT 3B will be handed over to Sea Launch’s prime contractor, Energia Logistics, Ltd., to be mated with the payload support structure and integrated with the Zenit-3SL launch vehicle before departure to the launch site in early April. The launch of the EUTELSAT 3B satellite is scheduled for mid-April.

The EUTELSAT 3B communications satellite departed from the Toulouse, France manufacturing facilities of Airbus Defence and Space on February 17th and arrived at the Long Beach Airport (LGB) on-board an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft yesterday. It was subsequently transferred via surface roads on an oversized transport vehicle with representatives from Eutelsat, Airbus Defence and Space and Energia Logistics Ltd. on hand to receive the spacecraft.

Based on the Eurostar E3000 platform of Airbus Defense and Space, the EUTELSAT 3B satellite has been designed to operate three commercial payloads in the C, Ku and Ka bands. This tri-band configuration will deliver exceptional levels of in-orbit flexibility and coverage from Eutelsat’s expanding 3° East neighourhood. The satellite will enable Eutelsat to diversify its commercial response to Internet Service Providers, telcos, government agencies and broadcasters operating in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. EUTELSAT 3B has a designed in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years.

AirFlite Voted #2 FBO Again!

AirFlite has been voted once again to the #2 spot for the best FBO in North America by the flight crew readers of Aviation International News. For over 20 years AirFlite has been proud to have been ranked in the top 10 of this prestigious magazine’s survey. AirFlite would also like to congratulate five of our associates who were recognized individually several times over for the “Above and Beyond” award, Greg McQueary-Line Service Manger, Bora Nhek-Line Service Supervisor, Chan Hou-Line Service Supervisor, Diana Hernandez-Customer Care Representative and, John Tary-Aviation General Manager. AirFlite knows that a great organization is made up by great individuals, and we are proud to have so many recognized in the survey and many more who, everyday, work tirelessly to create the best customer experience possible. Thank you so very much for your votes and patronage, and we hope to continue to earn your business by exceeding your expectations.

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NBAA Regional Forum 2.28.13

AirFlite will be hosting the NBAA Regional Forum with 1200 in attendance, 80 booths and 15 aircraft on static display.

Happy Holidays From AirFlite

The winter holidays have arrived at AirFlite in the form of a beautiful lobby. So, from our family to yours, happy holidays and a happy new year!

Antonov 124 Lands at Long Beach / AirFlite

An Antonov 124 carrying a communications satellite arrived in Long Beach to offload it’s cargo to Sea Launch AG, a Swiss company that provides most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit for commercial communications satellites by launching them through a sea based platform.

Boeing 787 Stops at AirFlite

Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner stopped into AirFlite to visit KLGB. The aircraft was quite impressive and there were many who ventured from all parts of the airport to see the first visit of the 787 to KLGB. The 787-8 Dreamliner will carry 210 – 250 passengers on routes of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers), while the 787-9 Dreamliner will carry 250 – 290 passengers on routes of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 kilometers).

In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 provides airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance. The airplane uses 20 percent less fuel than today’s similarly sized airplanes. It will also travel at a similar speed as today’s fastest wide bodies, Mach 0.85. Passengers will also see improvements on the 787 Dreamliner, from an interior environment with higher humidity to increased comfort and convenience. Composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure of the 787 including the fuselage and wing.

Mercy Air Lands at AirFlite

Long time clients, Mercy Air, stop over once again in one of their Bell 222 aircraft. Since 1988, Mercy Air Services has been providing state-of-the-art emergency medical air transportation to residents of Southern California and Nevada. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Mercy Air is continuously advanced life support (ALS) staffed with a flight nurse and flight paramedic. With the ability to provide on-scene EMS transport, inter-facility transfers, specialty care and specialty team transfers, Mercy Air provides the most progressive and advanced transport care available.