Leonardo Helicopters announced at LABACE a partnership with Icon Aviation to distribute the AW109 Trekker in Brazil, sealing a relationship dating back more than 20 years, to when Leonardo was Agusta and Icon was the air arm of the Casas Bahia retail chain.
“More than twenty-five years of selling Agusta, and we expect to continually increase the number of Leonardos in Brazil,” said Icon owner Michel Klein.
Robert Brant, vice president global sales-Americas, said Leonardo picked Icon because it is “very reputable. They’ve worked with the Agusta family for twenty years. Mr. Klein continues to invest in the future of aviation, even in a downturn in the economy. This is the kind of organization we want representing Leonardo.”
Icon executive director Décio Galvão told AIN about other Icon investments. “We now have five hangars, five FBOs at Congonhas airport, and on the 22nd we’re opening a new hangar in Brasilia. We’re also buying new aircraft, a Phenom 300, a CJB, and an Airbus B4. The CJBtwin- will be our first single turbine - we’re strong in twin-turbines, but now we’ll be moving into single turbines, too.”
“We’ve got more equipment, more FBOs, and we’re partnering with Leonardo. We’ll be selling the Trekker to start, but we hope to later handle more models.” He said that Icon will be basing a Phenom 300 at Santos Dumont airport for its Rio de Janeiro customers, rather than having to fly aircraft in from São Paulo.
Icon has grown quickly through purchases of established business aviation operators, a strategy that has brought with it a very heterogeneous fleet. Asked about that, Décio responded, “We also administer third-party aircraft. So we do have to deal with many different models anyways.” Business aviation in Brasilia has suffered heavily from operators fleeing higher fees demanded by the new airport concessionaire. So why is Icon opening there? “We take the opportunities we see,” Galvão said, “others left, and we took the biggest hangar available when the operator vacated it.”