A Journey Through Time

Milestones of Success

1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s

The 1990s

February 1999
Entry into Aviation Fuelling

During negotiations in 1998 between Oiltanking Deutschland and the Omnitank Group in connection with the acquisition of several tank terminals, the idea to purchase Omnitank’s 50% interest in Omni Aircraft Service at Munich Airport is mooted.

The background: a few years previously, when the old Riehm Airport relocated to the Franz-Josef-Strauß Airport south of Munich, the tank terminal operation and aviation fuelling licences were also re-issued. And although the oil companies were used to running a joint-fuelling-pool at airports, the airport authority successfully ended their dominance by awarding licences to the Lufthansa subsidiary AFS and the newly-founded Omni Aircraft Service (OAS). OAS was a joint venture between the Omnitank Group and the Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG) of America. OAS initially faced huge difficulties: the company took on the staff from Munich Riehm airport and the vehicles had to be flown in partly from Australia and England.

At the time the company is offered for sale to Marquard & Bahls AG, it already has an excellent reputation at Munich Airport. It quickly emerges that this could be the start of something big...

The 2000s

July 2001
Aviation Fuelling Becomes a Business Line in Its Own Right – Founding of Skytanking Holding

The joint venture with ASIG at the Franz-Josef-Strauß Airport in Munich is designed for the long haul. Over time, however, it becomes clear that the two companies have diverging ideas, and so in 2001 Marquard & Bahls decides to set up Skytanking Holding.

Seeing as aviation fuelling contracts are signed for a term of one year at a time, the service mentality that is also practiced at Oiltanking is of prime importance for the entry into the business. Naturally there are some ropes to be learned: once the five-year operator license for the tank terminal at Munich Airport expires, the company has to prevail in a tender in order to obtain the license again.

July 2003
Skytanking: now in America – Takeover of Into-Plane Fuelling at Miami Airport

As of July 2003 Skytanking USA is responsible for fuelling the two Star Alliance airlines United and Air Canada at Miami International Airport. The Miami site gives Skytanking an important international air traffic hub – and first footprints in the U.S. were made. This will soon be followed by other locations. Skytanking intends to establish itself in the American market as a strong, independent provider of aviation fuelling.

February 2005
Skytanking Awarded Fuel System Operating Contract at Chicago Midway

Skytanking USA commenced service of the Fuel System at the Chicago Midway Airport on February 1, 2005. This contract was very important to Skytanking USA from a strategic standpoint since it was its first in the facility management line of business. Skytanking wanted to become a leading service provider to the airline industry. In addition to Chicago, Skytanking USA already operated at the international airports in Miami and Philadelphia.

In Europe, Skytanking also operated at the airports of Munich, Germany and Ostend, Belgium.

May 2005
Skytanking USA Awarded New Contracts at Orlando International Airport

Skytanking USA announced that Southwest, Northwest and Frontier Airlines have awarded Skytanking into-plane fuelling contracts at Orlando International Airport effective May 1, 2005.

Orlando was one of the fastest growing airports in the U.S. The award of these contracts was another important step in establishing Skytanking’s presence in the North American Aviation Service Market.

July 2005
Skytanking Purchases a Controlling Stake in Belgian Fuelling & Services Company

Skytanking purchases a controlling stake in Belgian Fuelling & Services Company NV (BFSC). Skytanking’s Belgian subsidiary Merlin Fuel NV, which at the time already provides aviation fuelling services at Ostend-Brügge International Airport, acquires the shares Sabena’s bankruptcy trustee.

BFSC handles approx. half of all into-plane fuelling at Brussels International Airport and additionally has an extensive portfolio of contracts to provide engineering, operations and management services for fuel companies at other European airports, including Athens, Luxembourg and Liège.

June 2006
Skytanking Third Largest Business Area of Marquard & Bahls

Aviation fuelling has developed into the third-largest Marquard & Bahls business over the past few years. Skytanking operates at 14 European and American airports and employs approx. 320 people around the world in mid-2006. Customers of Skytanking are primarily airports and airlines, but also oil companies.

Skytanking is the only company in the market to focus exclusively on aviation fuelling services. Besides into-plane fuelling, this also includes the financing, construction and operation of fuel-storage and hydrant systems. Neither the traditional ground handling companies nor the oil companies can offer such comprehensive services – they see aviation fuelling as one of many activities they are reluctant to handle or unable to cover completely. Another crucial advantage is Skytanking’s independence from the oil companies.

June 2006
Skytanking Awards Into-Plane Fuelling Contract at Dallas, Denver and Vienna

Dallas, USA
Southwest Airlines awarded Skytanking an into-plane fuelling contract at Dallas Love Field effective June 1, 2006. Dallas Love Field was one of Southwest’s most important operations with more than 120 daily flights and excellent growth potential. The fact that Skytanking had been chosen to perform their into-plane service, which had previously been performed by their employees, at their Headquarters location, underlined the confidence Southwest had in the company. This contract gave Skytanking the opportunity to continue to build the relationship with Southwest.

Denver, USA
Skytanking also signed a contract for refuelling aircraft at Denver International Airport. From 1 September 2006 Skytanking would fill approximately 140 daily flights for the company Frontier Airlines at this location.

Vienna, Austria
The company also secured a 3-year contract to perform into-plane fuelling operations at Austrian Airline’s home base airport at Vienna. The contract with Austrian Airlines and the official refuelling license, issued by the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Technology and Innovation, had been awarded to the Vienna subsidiary of Skytanking ASIG GmbH & Co. KG, which was a 50/50 joint venture between Skytanking Holding GmbH and ASIG. 

Besides Dallas, Denver and Vienna, Skytanking was represented in the USA at the international Airport of Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, Miami, and Philadelphia, and in Europe at the airports of Brussels, Munich, Zurich and Oostend (Belgium).

May 2008
Indian Oil Skytanking Commences Fuelling Operations at Bangalore International Airport

Bangalore’s new International Airport opens at midnight on May 23, 2008, and Indian Oil Skytanking Limited, a joint venture of Skytanking, Indian Oil, and Indian Oiltanking, starts its fuelling operations.

At the beginning of 2006, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has awarded Indian Oil Skytanking a 20-year concession to design, finance, construct and operate the aviation fuel storage and hydrant system. Indian Oil Skytanking also won one of the two into-plane fuelling licences issued by BIAL.

April 2009
Skytanking Opens New Fuel Facility at Stuttgart International Airport

On January 31, 2007, Skytanking and Flughafen Stuttgart sign a contract for the construction and operation of the new aviation fuel storage facility. The 30-year “BOOT” contract is the first of its kind for a storage terminal at a German airport. “BOOT” stands for Build-Own-Operate-Transfer and is a commonly used contract structure for infrastructure projects. Internationally, it is being used by more and more airports that require new fuel facilities, as it allows the airport to outsource the financing, design, construction and operation of the facilities to an independent specialist like Skytanking. At the end of the 30-year contract, ownership of the facilities is transferred to the airport.

The new fuel storage facility, which was built in just 15 months with a capacity of 4,500 cbm Jet Fuel (Jet A-1), is designed to the highest international standards for aviation fuel. In addition to the BOOT contract, Skytanking is also awarded an into-plane fuelling license.

July 2009
Skytanking Takes Over AirFuel, Now Fuels Planes in Paris

Skytanking takes over AirFuel, a joint venture between Air France and Kuwait Petroleum Aviation France that works in into-plane fuelling at Charles de Gaulle Airport and handles more than 1 million tons of jet fuel annually. The acquisition marks Skytanking’s market entry in France, meaning the company now operates in another European country besides Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The overall network now comprises 21 airports in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

December 2009
Skytanking Acquires Two Aviation Fuelling Companies in Italy

Skytanking purchases 100% of the shares in HUB Srl and PAR Srl from their current owners Esso Italiana Srl, ENI Rete Oil & Non Oil SpA and Kuwait Petroleum Italia SpA. The purchase of HUB and PAR is Skytanking's first move into the aviation fuelling market in Italy. HUB and PAR provide into-plane fuelling services at Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Rome Fiumicino, Naples and Palermo airports, fuelling over 200,000 aircraft per year and employing around 180 staff. The Skytanking network now comprises 26 airports in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

The 2010s

May 2010
First South African Site for Skytanking: King Shaka International Airport

Skytanking Calulo takes over the operation of the tank storage and hydrant system at the new King Shaka International Airport and now offers services in connection with into-plane fuelling. Skytanking Calulo, a joint venture between Skytanking Holding and Oiltanking Calulo, is the first Skytanking subsidiary to operate on the African continent.

August 2010
Skytanking Enters the British Market

Skytanking enters the UK market for aircraft fuelling by acquiring 51% of shares in North Air. BP retains the remaining 49%. North Air provides into-plane fuelling and jet fuel storage management services to BP and other oil companies at 17 airports in the United Kingdom, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

January 2012
Skytanking Adds Operations at Two More Airports in France

Skytanking now also offers its tank storage and aircraft fuelling services at Nice and Bordeaux airports, bringing the company’s worldwide network to 49 locations at that time.

November 2012
Skytanking Opens 50th Into-Plane Fuelling Site at Frankfurt Airport

On November 1, 2012, Skytanking starts providing into-plane fuelling services at Frankfurt Airport – another milestone in the company’s rapid development in recent years, as Frankfurt is the 50th airport where it provides such services.

Frankfurt, along with the existing sites in Munich and Stuttgart, gives Skytanking a presence at three of Germany’s ten busiest airports by passenger volume. Frankfurt Airport is the third-largest airport in Europe, and the ninth-largest worldwide.

March 2013
Skytanking Acquires Combined Refuelling Services Business at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport

On March 25, 2013, Skytanking announced the acquisition of Combined Refuelling Services V.O.F. (CRS). Skytanking’s wholly-owned subsidiary Skytanking B.V. signed an agreement to acquire the business of CRS, a general partnership between Esso Nederland B.V., Chevron Netherlands B.V., Total Nederland N.V., and Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation A.S.

CRS provided into-plane fuelling services at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the fourth-largest airport in Europe. This transaction gave Skytanking its first footprint in the Dutch aircraft-fuelling market, and extended its presence to seven of the top ten busiest airports in Europe.

April 2014
Skytanking Withdraws from the United States and Increases Its Network in Germany and Austria

Skytanking sold its subsidiary Skytanking USA with its 14 sites in the U.S. to Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG). In return, Skytanking took over ASIG’s business at Munich, Vienna, Linz and Klagenfurt airports. The withdrawal comes after years of consolidation and fierce competition in the U.S. market, which also offers few prospects for the long-term.

After the sale of Skytanking USA, the company has operations at 40 airports in 11 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Outside the U.S., Skytanking remains committed to successively expanding its network.

May 2014
Skytanking Starts Into-Plane Fuelling Operations at Hamburg Airport

Skytanking startes providing into-plane fuelling services at Hamburg Airport on May 1, 2014. With this new location, the company is active at 41 airports worldwide. The new operation marks another milestone in Skytanking’s development in recent years, as the city of Hamburg was also home to its corporate headquarters. Skytanking thereby strengthens its footprint in the German market and now operates, along with Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart, at four of Germany’s ten busiest airports.

December 2014
Skytanking Acquires Majority Share in Hydrant Refuelling System, Brussels

On December 23, 2014, Skytanking Holding completes the purchase of an 84-percent shareholding in Hydrant Refuelling System NV (HRS). The company ownes and operates the jet fuel storage and hydrant system at Brussels National Airport, a facility comprising eight tanks with a total capacity of 40,000 cbm and a hydrant system with 175 fuelling positions.

Skytanking’s operating company for Belgium, Skytanking NV, has managed all operations, administration and engineering support for HRS since 1993, and is also the largest into-plane company at Brussels airport. The transaction systematically extends Skytanking’s involvement at Brussels airport.

December 2016
Skytanking and Ovenon Found Joint Venture for Supply of Aircraft-Fuelling Personnel in Turkey

At the end of 2016, Skytanking joined the Turkish company Ovenon in setting up Skytanking Ovenon, a joint venture that provides aircraft fuelling personnel to oil companies. The partner company has been providing aircraft fuelling staff at Turkish airports for many years. The 18 airports at which the joint venture is represented include Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya.

March 2017
Skytanking is Re-Awarded the Contract for Aviation Fuel Storage and Hydrant System Management at Munich Airport, Germany

Skytanking Munich GmbH & Co. KG has signed a 6-year contract with Flughafen München GmbH to operate the aviation fuel storage and hydrant system at Munich Airport. The contract was awarded to Skytanking Munich after an extensive international public tender process. Skytanking Munich has been successfully operating the fuel facilities at Munich Airport since 1999 and also holds one of the two licences to provide into-plane fuelling services at the airport.

Munich International Airport is Germany's second busiest airport and the seventh busiest in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. The fuel system managed by Skytanking is supplied via rail and pipeline.

April 2017
Skytanking Starts Into-Plane Fuelling at Malta International Airport

Skytanking Limited, a joint venture between Skytanking Holding GmbH and the Maltese company Attard Services Limited, has launched its into-plane fuelling operations at Malta International Airport. The first customer aircraft were successfully fuelled on April 1, 2017, including Airbus A321 and A320 aircraft destined for Frankfurt and Budapest. 

Malta International Airport handles more than five million passengers per year at this popular tourist destination.

October 2017
Skytanking Successfully Completes Acquisition of the Employees and Assets of Sun Jet Services

Skytanking has completed the acquisition of the employees and assets of Sun Jet Services at Germany’s Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Cologne airports with effect from October 1, 2017. By taking this step, the company has grown its operations in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) by about 50%. 

Skytanking now has more than 420 employees and a total of 160 specialized refuelling vehicles in the three countries. With an annual refuelling volume of more than six million cbm of jet fuel, Skytanking is now the leading service provider for aircraft refuelling in the German-speaking countries.

May 2018
Skytanking Ovenon Extends Business in Turkey

Skytanking Ovenon AS has successfully taken over the aviation fuelling operations of Petrol Ofisi Vitol in Turkey with effect from May 1, 2018. With this step, Skytanking is now offering into-plane fuelling and tank farm management services at 21 Turkish airports. Skytanking has doubled its manpower in Turkey by taking over 118 operators, mechanics and site managers from Petrol Ofisi, employing now a total of 238 people in Turkey.

Turkey is an emerging aviation hub and an extremely attractive and fast growing market. Petrol Ofisi is the market leader in Turkey for fuel products distribution and lubricants, owned by a subsidiary of Vitol Investment Partnership Ltd.

November 2018
Skytanking Expands in India

Skytanking continues to pursue its growth course: IndianOil Skytanking (IOSL) expanded its network by three locations in India. The Indian subcontinent is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. While IOSL was represented at ten locations at the beginning of 2018, Puducherry/Pondicherry, Kadapa and Bhubaneswar have now been added as three additional locations.

February 2019
Skytanking‘s Comeback to USA

Skytanking has started refuelling American Airlines aircraft at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world. The return to the USA marks another milestone in the company's history.

As of June 2019, Skytanking will add another airline customer to its Atlanta operation: Frontier Airlines. This markes the third airline customer for Skytanking at Atlanta next to American Airlines and United. It is an important milestone also because Frontier operates flights to over 100 destinations in the US and as such offers interesting growth potential for Skytanking.

Skytanking was already active in the USA from 2003 to 2013 with a total of 14 locations, including Atlanta. Due to fierce competition and the lack of prospects for fundamental improvement at the time, the decision was made to withdraw from the market.

April 2019
Skytanking: Successful Market Entry in Spain

Skytanking, which offers aviation fuelling services in 14 countries worldwide, has now added another country to its network with Barcelona El Prat Airport in Spain. Last year, Skytanking acquired the necessary licenses for aircraft refuelling in Spain, the third largest aviation market in Europe, as part of a nationwide tender. Barcelona is the first location where Skytanking operates, Valencia (May 2019), Malaga and Palma de Mallorca will follow in the course of the year.

Spain’s air traffic greatly benefits from tourism. For years, the mainland and the islands have been among the most popular destinations in Europe.

May 2019
Skytanking Expands in the USA: New Location Philadelphia

Skytanking is refuelling of American Airlines flights in Philadelphia. Following Atlanta, where the company became operative in February this year, this is the second location in the USA. Skytanking is refuelling all regional flights of American Airlines out of Philadelphia which will peak at almost 200 daily flights. As of autumn 2019, this number will double as American's mainline and international flights will be also be refuelled by Skytanking. Finally, Skytanking will also fuel all of American's ground service equipment starting this summer.

The 2020s

July 2020
Skytanking Sells Its Italian Business to Carboil

Portfolio optimization is one of the cornerstones of the Skytanking strategy. After careful consideration, Skytanking Holding has taken the decision to exit the Italian market, and has been in discussion with a number of parties regarding the sale of its Italian legal entity. Therefore, Carboil Srl – a well-established and respected player in the Italian into-plane service market – acquires 100% of the shares of Skytanking Srl as of July 30, 2020.

Skytanking Srl has into-plane operations at the airports of Rome (Fiumicino), Naples, Venice and Palermo, and storage facilities at the airports of Milano (Linate), Naples, Venice and Palermo.

July 2020
Skytanking Closes Hamburg Site

The situation of the Skytanking site at Hamburg Airport, which is already burdened by strong competition, is further impacted by the loss of an important major customer. There is also no prospect of substantial additional customers due to the limited size of the fuelling market at Hamburg Airport, thus making profitable operations impossible. Operations at Hamburg Airport have therefore been discontinued as of July 31, 2020.

October 2020
Skytanking Australia now Active at Sydney Airport

Skytanking Australia Pty Ltd has signed a contract with Sydney Airport Corporation Limited, to operate the aviation fuel storage and hydrant system at Sydney Airport. Sydney is Skytanking’s first operation in Australia. Sydney Airport is Australia’s busiest airport and amongst the world largest airports in terms of fuel throughput. The fuel system managed by Skytanking is supplied via truck and pipelines and comprises 29,000 cbm of Jet A-1 storage and 11,000 metres of underground pipelines connecting the storage to more than 170 apron hydrant pits.

November 2020
Skytanking Starts Operations at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Skytanking has successfully started operations at the newly opened Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). Skytanking was awarded the refuelling license in 2011, as the airport was originally scheduled to open in June 2012. However, numerous planning errors and construction defects resulted in the airport launch being postponed several times.

Berlin is the third most important air traffic location in Germany, only surpassed by Frankfurt and Munich. Six million people live in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region, and Berlin is also the most attractive destination for city trips in Germany. The airport covers an area of around 1,400 hectares and is designed for an annual passenger volume of 46 million.

April 2021
Skytanking's New Shareholder: PrimeFlight

Skytanking is sold to PrimeFlight Aviation Services, Inc. The former parent company Marquard & Bahls is holding a minority stake in PrimeFlight and indirectly participates in Skytanking after the closing of the transaction in April 2021.

PrimeFlight provides numerous airline services, including into-plane fuelling, ground handling, de-icing, cargo support, general aviation services, and other critical passenger support services. Importantly, PrimeFlight shares the Skytanking management team’s goal to expand into new locations and to increase service offerings at existing stations. The combined company will be one of the industry’s largest, providing aviation support services at over 200 locations around the world.