Mexico's first business jet fractional ownership programme is slowly expanding after its first year.

The MexJet 2000 programme, operated by AeroLineas Ejecutivas (ALE), will add a fifth Raytheon Beechjet 400A in December and has two more aircraft due for delivery next year. Six Raytheon Premier Is are planned for delivery in 2001.

ALE, based at Mexico City's Toluca general aviation airport, says it has more than 15 customers for the programme, which differs from Executive Jet's pioneering NetJets fractional scheme, according to ALE commercial director, Alejandro Alonso.

MexJet does not involve ownership of the aircraft. Instead, customers pay an initial $760,000 for a one-fifth share of an Aerolineas Ejecutivas-owned Beechjet, with a further payment of $380,000 due at the end of the six-year agreement. Alternatively, a customer can pay $1.26 million upfront and receive $400,000 back at the conclusion of the programme.

A one-fifth share guarantees the customer 160h a year in the aircraft, available at 4h notice, at a cost of $700/h. Alonso believes the appeal of MexJet to Mexican customers is its lower capital and fixed costs compared to US fractional ownership programmes.

While growth has been slow compared with that of NetJets and Bombardier's FlexJet, Alonso concedes that interest is accelerating as more people are introduced to the programme. "People don't believe it until they are in it," he says.

Source: Flight International