Pilatus Aircraft’s Latin American distributor Synerjet expects to complete a number of new sales for the PC-12 single turboprop during this week’s LABACE show in Brazil. According to director general José Eduardo Brandão, the anticipated deals are evidence that challenging market conditions in the region are starting to improve.
“Last year was a year to be forgotten, and this year had been very quiet until two months ago when we started to see some interest in possible purchases here in Brazil,” he told AIN. He argued that this week’s anticipated impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will bring an improved degree of certainty as to how the country’s troubled economy will be managed going forward.
At the LABACE static display in São Paulo’s Congonhas Airport, Synerjet is displaying an example of the latest PC-12NG model, featuring improved performance due in part to a new five-blade propeller. The new prop enables it to fly non-stop across most of Brazil from São Paulo in the south to Manaus in the north. “This gives the aircraft more speed and climb,” said Brandão. “We will be promoting this improvement [for retrofit] on older aircraft.”
Brazil-based Synerjet is the business aviation subsidiary of South American conglomerate Synergy Group, which also includes airline holdings such as Avianca. It has represented Pilatus across Latin America since 2014, when it ended its distributorship arrangement with Bombardier Business Aircraft. Prior to that, Synerjet had already represented the PC-12 in Brazil. To date, it has sold almost 60 aircraft for Pilatus across the continent.
Apart from improving prospects in Brazil, Synerjet also has sold PC-12s in Colombia, Paraguay, Panama, Venezuela, Guatemala and Chile. It operates authorized service centers at Sorocaba in Brazil and in Colombia, and also works with approved support facilities for the aircraft in Venezuela (Aerocentro) and Chile (Aerocardal).
Argentina, where a new government is instituting extensive economic reforms, is another major focus of Synerjet’s sales efforts. “We will have Argentina back in the game very soon,” said Brandão. “They have an enormous fleet of [aging] aircraft and it’s a large country with a good aviation mentality.”
Despite ongoing political and economic turmoil, Synerjet is optimistic about winning more business in Venezuela. “We hope that the situation there will change next year,” concluded Brandão. “It’s a very interesting country because there are always rich Venezuelans, mainly living outside the country, who want to purchase aircraft.”
Synerjet also handles sales of Pilatus’s new PC-24 mid-light jet, which is due to complete type certification around the end of 2017. Customers in Chile, Guatemala and Brazil account for 3 of the 84 orders placed so far. “We have much more interest [from Latin America] waiting for the next wave of sales,” said Brandão, referring to the self-imposed, temporary limit that Pilatus instituted when it reached 84 orders. It intends to reopen the order book next year.