Avantto Gains Momentum In Brazil

 - August 17, 2012, 1:25 PM
Rogério Andrade, president of Avantto is watching his fractional operation in Brazil grow at about 20 percent per year. (Photo: Kirby J. Harrison)

Behind the youthful face and quick smile, 36-year-old Rogério Andrade is an entrepreneur who has already held the position of CEO of a major helicopter operation and is now president of Avantto, a fractional ownership operation that is slightly less than two years out of the blocks and already boasts 350 members and a fleet of 24 jets and 23 helicopters.

And with the backing of asset management and private equity giant Rio Bravo,  Avantto is flexing its muscle at LABACE.

The industry in general, which has seen numerous fractional ownership business plans, might think Avantto just another fractional program. Andrade prefers to call it, less formally, a private club. A club that continues to grow at an annual rate of about 20 percent a year.

According to Andrade, most of the São Paulo-based operation’s jet fleet consists of light to medium aircraft, including seven Embraer Phenom 100s. But he added, “We are seriously thinking of adding some larger airplanes—maybe the Challenger 300 or the Falcon 2000.”

The helicopter fleet consists of a mix of Robinson R44s, Eurocopter AS350 B3s and EC120s, and Agusta A109s.

Describing the pricing structure, Andrade said Avantto offers only one-third shares in its fixed-wing program, and the one-time buy in cost in a Phenom 100 comes at $1.380 million (R$2.78 million), entitling the share owner to 20 flight hours a month at $1,585 an hour. A monthly fixed cost of $22,200 (R$45,000) covers crew, insurance, hangar lease and management of the aircraft. Andrade said there is no wait charge and no repositioning fee.

While most of the fleet is based at São Paulo, a small number of aircraft are based in Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. Fixed-wing flights may remain at the disposition of the owner but more often return to base, particularly those out of Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Helicopter flights almost always return to base as missions rarely last more than 30 to 35 minutes, said Andrade.

The company’s entrepreneurial president has an education and background in both engineering and finance, but he puts his motivation to launch Avantto in terms easy to understand in the business aviation industry: “I just fell in love with airplanes.”