Universal Weather and Aviation

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Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
Privately held company
Industry Business aviation
Founded 1959
Founder Tom Evans
Headquarters Houston, Texas, United States
Services Flight planning, aviation weather, Jet A fuel, aircraft ground handling, and aviation security
Owner Greg Evans
Website universalweather.com

Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. (commonly called Universal or Universal Weather) is a privately held company headquartered in Houston, Texas that provides products and services for the general aviation industry. Its customers include owners and operators of business jets for corporate and personal air travel.[1][2] The company offers products and services including international flight planning and scheduling, weather briefings, fueling programs, aircraft ground handling, and aviation security.[1][3] It is the oldest company in the corporate flight planning industry.[4]

Universal Weather was founded in 1959 by Tom Evans.[5] Greg Evans, his son, is Universal Weather's chairman and owner.[3] Ralph Vasami serves as the company's chief executive officer.[2] The company operated in 50+ locations in 20 countries as of 2015.[3]

History[edit]

Universal Weather was founded in Dallas, Texas in 1959 by Tom Evans, a former United States Air Force officer and meteorologist.[6][7] Universal Weather was originally based out of Dallas Love Field in Dallas, Texas[6] and was the first company to provide customized weather forecasting for business aviation.[7] The company moved to Houston, Texas a year later.[6] For its first ten years Universal Weather was only involved in weather forecasting.[8] New services were added gradually as the business aviation industry grew.[7][8]

Greg Evans, son of founder Tom Evans, became company president and chief executive officer in 2001.[9] He had worked at the company for the previous 22 years and was responsible for the company's prior expansion into Europe and Asia.[9] Ralph Vasami became president of the company in 2004.[10] Vasami had worked at Universal Weather since he had interned at the company's New York City weather office and had most recently served as its chief operating officer.[10][11] He would later become chief executive officer of the company.[11]

In 2007, Universal Weather donated flight planning and weather to Barrington Irving's then-world record solo flight around the world.[12][13] Universal Weather's services assisted in preparing Irving before his trip as the youngest person to fly solo around the world, and also monitored his travels during the expedition, tracking his location and storms, and coordinating with foreign airports for permission to land.[12]

Universal Weather acquired Air Chef Holdings, an American in-flight catering and concierge firm, in 2011.[14] The company launched its mobile application, Universal Mobile, for free in 2012, later updating it to be current with industry trends and making it accessible for iPads.[15]

In 2014, Universal Weather assisted Irving again providing complete flight logistics to Irving's Flying Classroom endeavor, a nine-week program of aviation expedition and education spanning over three continents. The program also involves scheduled informational stops to Universal Weather's ground support locations.[16][17]

Company brands[edit]

Universal Weather and Aviation Inc. owns and operates three brands that specialize in various services related to the aviation transport industry:

UVair[edit]

UVair is the fueling division of Universal Weather and Aviation.[18] The brand was founded in 1981 and the fuel program was initially launched in five locations including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Le Bourget, and Madrid.[19] The fuel program offers Jet-A contract fuel options. Later, the division established the UVair Fueling Card that is accepted at over 5,000 locations around the world.[19][20]

Universal Aviation[edit]

Universal Aviation is the ground support division of Universal Weather. Universal Weather opened its first ground handling offices in the mid-1970s in Mexico and Spain. In the late 1990s, Universal Weather began opening a network of ground handling offices. By 2016, the brand operates over 50 locations in 20 countries.[21]

Air Culinaire Worldwide[edit]

Air Culinaire Worldwide is the in-flight catering provider owned by Universal Weather.[22] The culinary brand operates 21 catering kitchens around the world.[23]

Memberships and affiliations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Universal Weather & Aviation, Inc.". LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations. 
  2. ^ a b Deon Daugherty (17 August 2012). "Universal Weather moving HQ, 700 employees to Clear Lake". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.". Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records. 
  4. ^ Mal Gormley (1 January 2003). "Flight Service Providers: Taking the Bumps Out of Business Flying In a changing world, commercial flight-planning/handling services are more varied than ever. But operators need to be proactive to get the service they want". Business & Commercial Aviation. 
  5. ^ "Private jet traffic to India soars as business booms". Web India. February 2, 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Grant McLaren (March 2008). "Universal Weather & Aviation corporate flight ops". Professional Pilot. 
  7. ^ a b c "Schedulers & Dispatchers 2014". Bart International. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Erik Cassano (24 November 2006). "Ralph Vasami". Smart Business. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Universal Weather's New President". Business & Commercial Aviation. 1 May 2001. 
  10. ^ a b "UNIVERSAL WEATHER NAMES NEW PRESIDENT". The Weekly of Business Aviation. 20 September 2004. 
  11. ^ a b Dave Marcus (27 October 2010). "A Potential Vaccination for 'Senioritis'". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Thurber, Matt (August 1, 2007). "Universal Weather Keeps Irving Aloft". AIN Online. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Inspirational Irving sets round the world marks". Flight Global. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Universal Weather and Aviation Acquires Air Chef Holdings". Travel Business Review. 12 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Curt Epstein (22 October 2013). "Universal Weather and Aviation Upgrades Mobile App". AINOnline. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "Barrington Irving Inspires the Next Generation of Aviators With 'Flying Classroom'". NBAA. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Flying Classroom Pilot Barrington Irving Meets with American and Jamaican Ambassadors in Tokyo". Charleston Chronicle. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "UVair Jet Fuel Pricing Now Integrated in FlightAware". FlightAware. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  19. ^ a b "About UVair". UVair. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Janice Wood (3 June 2012). "UVair FBO network takes off". General Aviation News. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "Universal Aviation announces global certification program for ground handlers". Universal Aviation. January 20, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  22. ^ Chad Trautvetter (25 February 2014). "Air Culinaire Worldwide Opens Miami Kitchen". AINonline. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  23. ^ Mark Phelps (7 December 2014). "Air Culinaire Localizes Inflight Menus". AINonline. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "Member Directory". National Business Aviation Association. Retrieved March 18, 2014. (Subscription required (help)). 
  25. ^ "List of Members". European Business Aviation Association. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Members (U)". Middle East Business Aviation Association. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Platinum Members". Asian Business Aviation Association. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]