The Brazilian aviation market has heated up in 2019, said aviation lawyer Felipe Bonsenso, with more work needing his specialty, "This year I've worked on delivery of two Global 6000s, three Phenoms and a Praetor that's only waiting for certification," he said. "There have been a lot of Phenom 300 deliveries to clients," he added.
"I expect LABACE to be better [this year] than last year. Much has improved for business aviation, with the stock exchange up, the dollar down."
Bonsenso welcomed lenders returning to the Brazilian market, naming UBS and Global Jet Capital, among others. Local interest rates have declined, and buyers who prefer local financing have options, such as Bradesco.
Aircraft financing is growing more complex, Bonsenso noted, while Brazil is "a very informal market" in his view. "Some buyers will want to use their real estate lawyer" for an aviation transaction, but an aviation specialist is really needed, he maintains. He is also getting more complex requests. "I've seen more cases where a client will bring along two or three friends who plan to buy the aircraft together and share the use. It's not the same as fractional ownership, which, it's worth noting, Brazil still hasn't regulated."
Another step toward a more orderly market is the creation last year of AERA, the Association of Aircraft Brokers. LABACE static exhibitors Gualter and TAG are founding members; the president is Rogério Marques, former Embraer business aviation sales manager for South America who is now with AirConsult. Marcos Furlan Lyra of CFLY Aviation, is vice-president and Bonsenso is the association's legal director. "The purpose is to bring good practices to used aircraft sales, ethics, and a better relationship among brokers," he said, pointing to some market practices such as sellers disliking exclusive listings, which can lead to conflicts, "It's worked well, and has already mediated accusations between brokers."
Bonsenso, who deals with many clients, says that "Embraer is a good reference, because of the entry-level Phenoms. But one of the first questions buyers ask is 'How many stops to Europe or the U.S.?'" While the Phenom isn't made for intercontinental trips, he predicts, "The Praetor will revolutionize the market" for business jets in Brazil.
While Bonsenso has still not fulfilled a boyhood dream of earning a pilot's license, he credits good luck and coincidence for his opportunity to specialize in aviation law. He has served individuals, corporations, and banks in more than 50 corporate jet transactions and also worked with some commercial aircraft deals.