Expanding Horizons: Unifi Aviation Buys Up & Away, Sets Sights on UK Market

July 21, 2023
The largest provider of aviation services in the United States.

Key Takeaways

  • US-based Unifi Aviation acquires UK’s leading aircraft services company Up & Away.
  • Unifi targets over $120 million growth in the UK market over the next three years.
  • The acquisition further strengthens the Argenbright Group’s strategic commitment to the UK region.
  • Up & Away’s founder, Stefan Murphy, to become Unifi’s Managing Director based in the UK.

About Unifi Aviation and the Argenbright Group

Unifi Aviation, the aviation services arm of the Argenbright Group, is the largest ground handling and aviation services company in North America, servicing over two million flights annually across more than 200 airports. Unifi offers a full spectrum of services, including ground handling, passenger transport, security, cabin services, ground support equipment maintenance, and much more.

Argenbright Group, the parent company, is a privately-held conglomerate providing tech-enabled solutions across various industries, including aviation services, facilities management, and commercial and government security. Since its inception in 1979 by Frank A. Argenbright Jr., it has grown into a $1.4 billion global operation with a presence across the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Europe.

The Acquisition of Up & Away

In a strategic move to extend its reach into the UK, Unifi Aviation has acquired Up & Away, a leading UK aircraft services and private jet detailing company. Founded in 2008 by Stefan Murphy, Up & Away has established a strong presence in thirteen UK airports, including Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, and Newcastle, with plans to open a fourteenth location at London Gatwick Airport.

Unifi’s CEO, Gautam Thakkar, expresses his anticipation for the new partnership: “Up & Away has earned a strong reputation for exceptional services. We look forward to working with Stefan and his team as they join the Unifi family and build upon Up & Away’s track record.”

Unifi intends to leverage its knowledge and experience from operating in 200+ airports, including the world’s busiest, to replicate its success in the UK market. The goal is to grow its UK business to more than $120 million in the region over the next three years.

A Promising Future in the UK Market

Stefan Murphy, founder of Up & Away, will become Unifi’s Managing Director based in the UK, guiding the company’s growth in the region. Murphy shares his optimism for the future: “I look forward to this immensely exciting phase of growth, and joining a leading aviation services organization like Unifi opens new doors.”

Unifi’s acquisition of Up & Away also signifies the Argenbright Group’s strategic commitment to the UK and its people. This move not only strengthens Argenbright’s existing UK operations but also paves the way for further expansion in the region.

Ernie Patterson, Chairman of International Business for Argenbright Group, will provide additional oversight of Unifi’s UK aviation business. Patterson will work with the Up & Away team to broaden operations into newer airports, including London Heathrow, signaling a promising future for the Unifi brand in the UK.


The acquisition of Up & Away marks a milestone for Unifi Aviation in its pursuit to dominate the global aviation services industry. With the integration of Up & Away’s expertise and clientele into its existing operations, Unifi’s ambitions for the UK aviation market have set the stage for a period of robust growth. The resulting partnership signals not just a new chapter for Unifi and Up & Away but a stronger commitment from the Argenbright Group to the UK and its people. As Unifi takes its first steps into the UK, all eyes are on what promises to be a journey of remarkable growth and success.

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