Brazilian helicopter fractional ownership operator Helisolutions plans to launch a fixed-wing programme this year under the brand name Jetsolutions.

The move comes as the São Paulo-based company expands its operation in the face of Brazil's burgeoning demand for helicopter travel.

Helisolutions finance director Rog‚rio Andrade says Jetsolutions will be launched with an entry- level business jet, possibly the Cessna Citation CJ1 or CJ2.

He says that the company expects to encounter the same resistance to fixed-wing fractional ownership that it experienced with fractionally-owned helicopters.

Since its launch in 2003 HeliSolutions has struggled to gain acceptance, but last year's results are a turning point, the company hopes, recording a customer increase of around 70%, bringing the tally to more than 100.

Helisolutions operates a fleet of 11 helicopters - four Robinson R44s, two Eurocopter EC120 Colibris and five Eurocopter AS350s - five of which are fractionally owned.

Last year the company opened a base in Rio de Janeiro and established a shuttle service between the city and São Paulo.

Source: Flight International