Sales of business aircraft to Brazil are expected to remain healthy this year, manufacturers predict, as the nation's economy strengthens. This comes as organisers of the second Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE), held from 15-17 April in Sao Paulo, announced a 30% increase in visitors and exhibitors over the first event.

Brazilian start-up charter operator and Bombardier sales agent OceanAir Taxi Aéreo predicts annual sales of four Learjet 40s, Learjet 45/45XRs and Learjet 60s over the next five years with operators of older Learjet types its key targets. The Learjet 40, Learjet 45XR and Challenger 300 business jets made their Latin American debut at LABACE and OceanAir, a subsidiary of the Brazilian regional airline of the same name, is scheduled to take delivery of the region's first 45XR next month, kickstarting the launch of its charter operation. The 45XR will be used as a customer demonstrator and a fractional ownership programme is planned.

Despite competing head-on with Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream for super mid-size and large cabin business jet sales, OceanAir says it is hopeful of securing Challenger 300 and Global Express sales over the next five years.

Cessna's Brazilian sales representative, TAM-Taxi Aéreo Marília, forecasts sales of some $45million this year, comprising 10 Citations and seven Cessna 208 Caravans.

Líder Taxi Aéreo, sales agent and distributor for the Raytheon product line, says while sales of business jets and turboprops are expected to remain flat this year at around 19 aircraft, the burgeoning agrobusiness within Brazil is expected to drive demand for new turboprops. Líder says it has already secured sales of two Beech King Air C90s this year. The King Air types represent 24% of the Latin American business aircraft fleet and 30% of Brazil's inventory. Piaggio Aero Industries has begun a demonstration tour of Brazil with its P180 Avanti, targeting the turboprop replacement market.


Source: Flight International