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Interview with Mario Tonini – Managing Director of AVIA INTERNATIONAL

Date of publication: 21.01.19

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In how many countries is the AVIA brand present?
The AVIA brand is present in 14 countries and is still expanding its reach. In the near future we will appear in next two countries: Ukraine and Mexico. We are really proud of the fact that AVIA enjoys interest of new partners in Europe and soon will also be present outside of our continent.

How many petrol stations does the AVIA chain include in total?
At present the AVIA chain includes in total 3120 stations, which gives us the 7th position among the biggest petrol station operators in Europe.

Was 2018 successful for AVIA International? What were your achievements in the previous year?
2018 was a very successful year for our Association. First of all, the AVIA chain developed very dynamically among the present partners. AVIA is a perfect solution for private businesses resp. entrepreneurs that want to cooperate together under the brand AVIA on the European market. Therefore, new partners are eager to join our chain and they bring their own, interesting solutions and ideas.
Our annual meeting of members in Vienna last year gathered a record number of participants. I am very pleased with the fact that our AVIA family is growing so dynamically.

How many AVIA stations were launched in 2018? Were there any special, innovative ones among them? (something made them different?)
According to preliminary estimates at the end of 2018 the AVIA chain included 3120 stations, so the number of stations increased by approx.50 stations compared to the previous year. As far as innovations are concerned there are some first AVIA stations in France which offer the possibility to tank with CNG and LNG; AVIA France acting here in cooperation with Primagaz. Also, AVIA members in Switzerland are preparing for tanking of hydrogen on selected stations and are actively engaged with bus / truck manufacturers (i.e Hyundai) and public transport companies. (reference is also made to: https://h2mobilitaet.ch/

Please outline the plans of the Association for 2019. How many new stations may appear in the AVIA chain this year?
It is difficult to determine precisely the number of petrol stations that are intended to be launched as our projects have various time frames. Some of the stations need to obtain numerous licenses, comply with procedural requirements and modernising actions. We expect around 60 stations to be launched under the AVIA brand in 2019.

Do you expect new member companies to join you?
We do expect that new partners will join our Association. We receive more and more requests concerning the conditions of accession, and several applications are on the table. Last year we established a lot of new contacts and we commenced negotiations with several entities. We expect that these negotiations will be completed this year and new members will enlarge our chain.

Why did AVIA begin Communication in social media? Have such actions produced any results?
Our AVIA members and country organisations conduct intense marketing actions in their countries. They also sponsor numerous sporting events, which increases the recognition of the AVIA brand. This is a perfect promotion and the Association is very proud of these actions. Therefore, we want to share them at an international level. Social media enables us to present such information in real time among all the partners, customers and supporters of the AVIA brand. Of course, we can already see first effects of our presence in social media. First of all, communication between partners has improved to a more informal and relaxed level. Users exchange information, comments and get to know one another better.

What other forms of promotion do the members of AVIA International apply? In which country do the members of the Association stress most marketing, advertising actions and promotion?
Members of the Association conduct promotional actions in many areas, both at a domestic as well as regional level. As already mentioned, these actions involve primarily sponsoring and supporting various forms of sports activities. Member companies of AVIA sponsor, among others, ski jumping, football, handball, hockey, car rallies, cycling, rugby, rowing, etc. However, it is difficult to indicate one country where such actions are particularly visible as AVIA is one family, where everybody derives from the others and shares ideas. Also in marketing actions, member countries do not compete with one another but provide support and exchange of solutions and best practises.

How does AVIA support climate protection and CO2 emission reduction?
Being concerned with the climate AVIA conducts a number of actions that aim at reducing the CO2 emission, among others, through introducing innovative engine and heating products with bio-components, offering natural gas and pellets and making investments in wind and solar energy. In Austria one partner company produces pellets, so AVIA sells this product very intensively.
Exemplary for the engagement of AVIA members in CO2 emmision reduction can be best observed on the example of AVIA in Germany, where AVIA offers a range of “CO2 neutral” heating oils. “CO2 neutral” meaning that AVIA compensates for the emissions caused by the burning of the heating oil in the households or industry through effective climate protection projects. There is no charge for the customer.

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