Pilot Flying J expands — again

Update: Canada location corrected.

Pilot Flying J continues to expand its North American footprint. The Knoxville-
0306pilot.MP.jpgbased company announced today it will open seven new travel centers in June and July.

Six locations will be in the U.S. – Cleveland, Tenn.; Anna, Texas; Murdo, S.D.; Ferndale, Wash.; Klamath Falls, Ore.; Sioux City, Iowa – and one in Canada in Nanton, Alberta.

Pilot Flying J operates the largest travel center network in North America with more than 600 locations.

“Pilot Flying J is always on the lookout for new store locations that will add to our North American network in order to better serve our customers,” Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam said in a news release. “As the driver-driven company, the convenience of our customers is always a top priority, and their needs largely drive the business decisions of the company.”

Expansion has been a priority for Pilot Fying J this year. But how much the company is investing uncertain – the privately-owned company doesn’t provide a lot of financial details. But it’s safe to say the company expects the 2012 growth campaign to produce significant results.

In April the company expanded its partnership with Atlanta-based restaurant chain Huddle House with announcement of plans to open five new restaurants in travel centers this year.

In February, Pilot said it would buy Western Petroleum LLC, a fuel transportation company based in Vernal, Utah.

In January, Pilot expanded its presence in the mining industry when it signed a one-year deal to supply diesel fuel to Knoxville-based coal company Xinergy Ltd.