The only really successful helicopter fractional operator is not in the U.S. as one would expect, but rather in South America–or, to be more precise, in one city in Brazil. That city is São Paulo, the financial capital of the wealthiest state of Brazil. With nearly 20 million people, São Paulo is the most populous metropolitan area in South America and, according to some census compilations, the fourth largest in the world.
States of Brazil
One year after beginning construction at its new maintenance facility, Táxi Aéreo Marília (TAM) has begun operations at its Jundiaí center, which will allow the company to handle 120 aircraft per month, double the number it services at its Congonhas facility. The new center briefly wears the crown as the largest business aviation maintenance facility in the world until Cessna inaugurates its new facility in Wichita this month.
A Learjet 35 crashed November 4 in São Paulo, Brazil, killing at least eight people. Witnesses said the airplane, owned by São Paulo-based air-taxi operator Reali Taxi Aerea, was attempting to return to Campo do Marte Airport just after takeoff in light rain, when it slammed nose first into a suburban neighborhood. Killed in the crash were
Brazilian officials are still combing through the wreckage of a Learjet 35 that crashed Sunday in São Paulo, killing at least eight people. Witnesses said the airplane, owned by São Paulo-based air-taxi operator Reali Taxi Aerea, was attempting to return to Campo do Marte Airport just after takeoff in light rain, when it slammed nose first into a suburban neighborhood.
Before the naysayers look askance at business aviation in Latin America and suggest that recent years of growth were something of an anomaly, they might consider the recent Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in São Paulo, Brazil, a show that can be described only as a resounding success.
São Paulo, Brazil-based Ocean Air has been named an authorized service facility for all Bombardier business jets. The company is offering round-the-clock AOG assistance, maintenance and services at São Paulo’s Congonhas International Airport. Certified for Learjets since 2005, Ocean Air now offers maintenance and service capabilities for all Bombardier Challengers and Globals.
The rapid growth of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) has undoubtedly been an inspiration to those seeking to institute dedicated industry shows in other regions of the world. Since 2001, when EBACE established itself here in Geneva, annual bizav gatherings have sprung up in Asia, Latin America and, most recently, the Middle East.
The upcoming second annual edition of the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) will be an important test of whether the event has long-term growth potential.
After a difficult year in 2003, Brazil’s largest executive charter company, TAM Taxi Aéreo Marília, saw better times last year, when its revenues increased to Real 105 million ($39.4 million)–up 15 percent from the previous year–with help from a recovery in the local economy. The increase in revenues was a result of growing demand on all fronts, including maintenance, aircraft sales and executive charter.
The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) returns to São Paulo, Brazil, for the third annual staging of this groundbreaking event (March 31 to April 2). The show is organized jointly by ABAG, Brazil’s business aviation association, and the U.S. National Business Aviation Association.