After launching four years ago to provide fractional ownership services for private aircraft, Next Aviation’s rapid growth stands in sharp contrast to the three-year slump for Brazilian business aviation and offers a roadmap for the market to recover.
In a debut appearance as a LABACE exhibitor, Next Aviation announced on 15 August plans to expand from a single base in rural Casacavel to three new bases serving two of Brazil’s largest urban centres – São Paulo and Curitiba – and another rural centre of Brazil’s agricultural industry in Ribeirão Preto.
The expansion will grow Next Aviation’s managed fleet to 15 aircraft ranging in size from a Cessna 172 to a Cessna CJ1, with the addition of one Beechcraft King Air and two Cirrus SR-22s in São Paulo, a Piper Seneca in Curitiba and a SR-22 in Ribeirão Preto, says Pedro Bizzotto, director of operations for Next Aviation.
Next Aviation’s growth is the reverse of the overall business aviation market, which has seen deliveries drop sharply in 2015 and 2016. Deliveries in the first half of this year slightly exceeded 2016 levels, but remain far short of signaling a sustained recovery.
“We started our company at the worst possible moment,” Bizzotto says.
Despite the timing, Next Aviation’s business has flourished, with 100% growth rates annually since 2014, he says.
Next Aviation’s success is part of a wave of new fractional business aviation start-ups since 2009. The first two fractional aircraft ownership companies in Brazil – Prime Fraction Club and Global Aviation – continue to grow, with Prime Fraction Club opening a new base in Rio de Janeiro last year.
Although well-established in North America and Europe, the fractional aircraft ownership model is only now gaining momentum in Brazil, as the country’s economic struggles have made full ownership more expensive than ever.
“We’re pretty new in Brazil in learning to share things,” says Bizzotto, jokingly.
Next Aviation continues to grow, but remains focused on serving the populous and adjacent states of São Paulo and Paraná. But the company’s growth could accelerate in the next few months. In addition to making the company’s fleet available for fractional ownership, Next Aviation is close to signing management deals allowing private aircraft owners to make their aircraft available for fractional services, Bizzotto says.
Due to the state of the economy, Brazilian aircraft owners are already contacting Next Aviation to negotiate management contracts, he says.
“This is going to happen a lot in the next few months,” Bizzotto says.