Jetex Flight Support and Brazilian aviation services partner CFly Aviation have won a tender to develop and operate a new general aviation terminal and FBO at São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, signing the agreement this week at NBAA 2017.
According to Francisco Lyra, a partner with CFly, the airport had previously had little interest in private aviation accommodations, but several recent high-profile sporting events in the country, such as the World Cup, Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Summer Olympics, and the flocks of private jets they attracted, changed that idea. “They started considering investing more into allowing business aviation,” he said.
In the past, private aircraft there were constrained as to how long they could remain on the ground at the airport, and they are currently forced to park in a remote area, a 20-minute drive from the main terminal where they have to clear customs.
“Business aviation is all about saving time and no matter how fast you fly into Brazil, there’s no way to save time now,” Lyra told AIN. “This project is focused on saving time for the passengers.” Under the terms of the 15-year lease, CFly will provide the infrastructure, while Jetex will manage the facility.
“We sought a partner to bring the level of service that you would find in Europe or here in the States to Brazil, so Jetex was the preferred choice for us,” explained Lyra at the Jetex booth (N4015) on Tuesday, adding he expects the new terminal will eventually make the airport more friendly to business aviation.
The companies are set to begin operations at Guarulhos later this month from temporary structures. Plans for the new facility are currently being laid out, but Jetex president and CEO Adel Mardini expects construction to begin in the first quarter of 2018, with an eye toward completion by the end of that year.
"The Brazil general aviation fleet is the second-largest in the world, only after the U.S.," said Mardini. "By partnering with CFly Aviation at Brazil's busiest airport, Jetex is positioning itself to provide the highest level of services to an increasing number of Latin American business aircraft operators and their passengers. With Guarulhos as a base, we expect to expand to other key locations across South America in the not-too-distant future."
Jetex operates 30 FBOs worldwide, split evenly between those wholly owned by the Dubai-based company, and those managed by it. Mardini noted this location, its first in Brazil, supports the company’s expansion plans in Latin America, which includes recently added locations in Santiago, Chile, and Toluca, Mexico. Last month, the company doubled the size its 24-hour operation center and U.S. headquarters in Miami, when it moved into to a new facility at Opa-Locka Airport. After three years of operations in the U.S., the company is looking to expand its reach in the U.S. market, not only trip support but FBOs as well.