Leonardo Helicopters announced a partnership with Icon Aviation to distribute the A109 Trekker helicopter in Brazil. "We expect to continually increase the number of Leonardos in Brazil,” said Icon founder Michel Klein.
Robert Brant, Leonardo vice president of global sales, Americas, said Leonardo picked Icon because it is “very reputable. They’ve worked with the Agusta family for 20 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 at Congonhas airport, and on August 22 we’re opening a new hangar in Brasilia. We’re also buying new aircraft." These include an Embraer Phenom 300 and two helicopters. The Phenom 300 will be based at Santos Dumont airport for Rio de Janeiro customers, rather than having to fly aircraft in from São Paulo.
"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,”Galvão said.
Icon has grown quickly by purchasing established business aviation operators, a strategy that has brought with it a mixed fleet. Asked about that, Décio responded, “We also [manage] third-party aircraft. So we do have to deal with many different models.”
Business aviation in Brasilia has suffered heavily from operators fleeing higher fees demanded by the new airport concessionaire. Galvão explained why Icon is opening a facility there. “We take the opportunities we see,” he said. “Others left, and we took the biggest hangar available when the operator vacated it.”