Michael Szczechowski
Senior Vice President of Business Aviation Sales
World Fuel Services
View from the Top

Global Fuel Supplier Sees Opportunity in Aviation

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 15:49

Q: What is Mexico’s role in World Fuel Service’s global strategy and what are the company’s expectations for the Mexican market?

A: Mexico plays a very important role within World Fuel Services’ global strategy. We have had a significant presence in the Mexican aviation market for more than 20 years, a period in which we have enjoyed continuous growth, and we are now expanding into marine, natural gas and soon land fuel. Mexico is experiencing an interesting process as the opening of the energy market is transforming the sector significantly by allowing competition and private investment. This process is opening a great number of opportunities for our company in Mexico.

Q: What are the main services that World Fuel offers to business and commercial airlines in Mexico?

A: We have a significant presence within aviation in Mexico and we work very hard to make sure they get the best customer service experience they can get, from credit, local 24-hour support, trip planning, fuel cards (AVCARD® for retail purchases and the World Fuel | Colt Card for contract fuel purchases) and local invoicing that is compliant with fiscal requirements for domestic customers.

Q: What are the main trends in the Mexican aviation sector and which areas do you think offer the greatest opportunities?

A: The tourism industry continues to grow steadily at coastal destinations but we have recently seen an increase in major cities like Mexico City, Monterrey, Leon, Guadalajara, Merida, San Luis Potosi and many others due to an expanding economy and the different tourist offerings of each state. In addition, we see significant growth in the business aviation industry, which slowly will be evolving to more of a US-type model with the increase of FBOs at some important airports.

Q: What are the main challenges the company has faced to operate in Mexico?

A: A major challenge is the new regulation for aviation fuels that is in the approval process by the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) and will significantly change the rules for storage, distribution, into plane service and commercialization of aviation fuels.

Q: World Fuel Services was one of the six businesses authorized by the Mexican Ministry of Energy to import gasoline. What impact will this have on your business?

A: Mexico has struggled to keep up with infrastructure growth requirements that would allow PEMEX to produce sufficient fuel to meet the country’s growing demand. The country imports almost 50 percent of the total gasoline supply and 30 percent of the jet fuel required by the aviation industry. Even though we have been in the aviation business in Mexico for over 20 years, the prospect of importing jet fuel into Mexico would allow us to offer our customers a more competitive and reliable jet fuel supply for important airport locations where there are no refineries close by.

Q: Which new services has the company incorporated in Mexico and what capabilities are unique to World Fuel Services?

A: Recently, we began selling natural gas and we have plans to begin diesel imports very soon, followed by gasoline in the next few months. The fact that we have been committed to the Mexican market for more than 20 years gives World Fuel Services a deep knowledge and understanding of airports, operations and what is required to fully comply with the country’s legal and fiscal requirements.

We continue to invest and innovate in Mexico. This year we have launched a Trip Support office in Toluca with an offering designed for Mexican operators to manage every aspect of their flight operations. This new regional office opened on July 12, 2017. Our local team of experts are Spanish-speaking and understand the challenges faced by Mexico’s operators. They also provide direct local handling and regulatory support for international operators coming to the region.