Avantto Sees Brazil’s Upside Despite Slowing Economy
Even as the Brazilian economy appears in a slow slide downward, business aviation fractional ownership operator Avantto (Stand 6111) is watching its value grow. “People are flying about 20 percent more, and the number of flights at Avantto is growing faster than the size of our fleet,” said company president Rogério Andrade.
That fleet today totals 52 aircraft, up from 47 last year and now consisting of 28 fixed-wing airplanes and 25 helicopters. New to the fleet are two Embraer Phenom 300s, with a third expected. Also added recently are a Bombardier Challenger 605 super-midsize jet and a Gulfstream 200, both part of the managed fleet but also available to fractional members.
The pricing structure for Avantto’s form of fractional ownership is relatively simple. The company offers only one-third shares in its fixed-wing program. The one-time buy-in for a Phenom 100 one-third share comes at R$3.111 million ($1.380 million), entitling the share owner to 20 flight hours a month at R$3,466 per hour ($1,540). The monthly fixed rate fee of R$48,709 ($21,650) includes crew, insurance, hangar lease and management of the aircraft. Andrade said there is no wait charge and no repositioning fee.
Avantto has taken advantage of the growth of aviation in Brazil and its own success to make some changes to its business structure. While Avantto’s aircraft are based, for the most part, in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the addition of the Phenom 300s and the Gulfstream 200 has the company flying more often to other South American countries, and, Andrade said, “The new Challenger 604 has us flying to the U.S. and Europe.
“Also in the planning is the acquisition of our own hangars and the launch of a maintenance facility,” he added. “Perhaps not next year, but with the coming of the new, private business aviation airports, certainly in the future.
“We’d like to find partners outside Brazil for our fractional operation,” said Andrade. “We’re already doing some flights with potential partners, pending a formal agreement, which is likely before the end of 2013. And we’re also studying the possibility of a jet card membership program.”
Earlier negotiations to find a fractional ownership partner on the other side of the world in the Philippines are “proceeding slower than we had hoped,” he noted. The problem, said Andrade, is mostly one of regulatory issues: “We’ve discovered we can’t just apply our business model in the Philippines.”
Unlike some Brazilian businesses, Andrade is not as enthusiastic as many are about the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics. “We had some experience with such events during the 15-day Federal Cup in June, and it was not a nice experience,” he commented. “The major airports were simply closed to business aviation. I hope the authorities are better prepared for the World Cup.”
Meanwhile, the good news is that Avantto saw a 35-percent increase in revenue from 2011 to 2012, and this year expects 20- to 25-percent revenue growth over 2012. “The people who are running the economy are the people who are flying in private and business aircraft, and even with a slight dip in the economy, they are still flying,” said Andrade.o