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Phenom 100 poised for debut in Mexican charter market

Guadalajara-based Sky Premier is planning to become later this year the first Embraer Phenom 100 charter operator in the Mexican market.

Armando Gonzalez, who has co-owned a Phenom 100 for 18 months, says he is in the process of setting up an air taxi company that will operate his initial Phenom 100 and at least two others. The new air taxi company, called Sky Premier, will be the first player in Mexico's bustling business jet charter market offering the jet.

"I think there's a market here in Mexico. Most of the market is old airplanes like the Learjet 25 or Learjet 35. I think if we can go into the same market we can make some business," Gonzalez says, adding while old Learjets are cheaper to acquire, the Phenom 100 costs less to operate and is more comfortable.

Sky Premier Phenom 100, Embraer
 © Embraer

Gonzalez's Phenom 100, which he owns with one partner, has been US-registered since it was delivered in April 2009. The aircraft is now being registered in Mexico and Gonzalez expects to soon secure a licence from the Mexican DGAC to operate charters. "We are planning to buy two other Phenom 100s," he reveals. "I think we'll do that by the end of the year or early next year."

There are several large air taxi companies in Mexico, most of which are based in Mexico City. Gonzalez says he and his partner decided to set up their own air taxi company rather than hire an established operator to help charter out their Phenom 100 because they see a niche offering services with a new-generation light jet from Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city.

"We decided to go ahead with our own company because our plan is to expand the fleet. In five years we'll probably have four Phenom 100s and one Phenom 300," he says.