Universal Weather and Aviation

Universal Weather and Aviation

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What It Is: A privately owned, Houston-based provider of flight-handling, weather-forecasting, FBO, catering, ground-transport, concierge, and allied support services to business and general aviation customers worldwide.

How It Grew: In 1959, Tom Evans, a former U.S. Air Force meteorologist, opened Southwest Flight Forecast and Industrial Weather Service at Love Field in Dallas to provide customized weather forecasting for private aviation, an industry first. Over the next decade, the company added flight-planning and trip-support services and changed its name to Universal Weather and Aviation.

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The business went international in the 1970s, adding offices in Mexico, the U.K., and Spain and partnering with overseas facilities; and in the 1980s, the company launched contract fuel services (UVair) and moved to its current headquarters near Johnson Space Center in Houston. Universal introduced Web-based flight planning, datalink, scheduling software, and color weather graphics in the 1990s and has since added ground transport, flight catering, global concierge, and an FBO network to its services, which are now provided at more than 50 locations in 20 countries.

What It Offers: 

Flight support. Flight planning, permitting, weather forecasting and en route reporting through Universal Weather and Aviation.

Ground handling. FBO services through the UVair FBO Network; ground transport and security services through Universal Private Transport; lodging and white-glove handing through Air2Ground Concierge.  

Fuel. UVair division, founded in 1981, offers contract fuel at some 5,000 locations worldwide and a fueling card used by some 20,000 cardholders. 

Catering. Subsidiary Air Culinaire Worldwide (formerly Air Chef Holdings, acquired in 2011) operates more than a score of kitchens at about 130 airports in the U.S., France, and the U.K., and through partners serves more than 1,800 airports worldwide.

Notable Achievements: Introduced the first customized weather forecasting for business aviation and pioneered support services. 

Recent News: In January, opened Universal Aviation Maldives, a joint venture-support office in the Indian Ocean island chain. That same month, Universal chairman Greg Evans (son on the company’s founder) received the National Business Aviation Association’s Silk Scarf Award for his lifetime of contributions to the industry. 


FAST FACTS

Founded: 1959

HQ: Houston

Employees: More than 1,700 worldwide

Annual revenue: $340 million (estimated)

President and CEO: Ralph Vasami

Chairman: Greg Evans

Website: universalweather.com

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