Aerolineas Ejecutivas sees Mexican charter market high-point
Aerolineas Ejecutivas is one of the oldest and largest business aviation companies in Mexico, with a history that can be traced back 45 years, and a charter fleet of 23 aircraft.
Corporate Jet Investor sat down with Iker Iparraguirre, marketing and PR Manager, to find out more about the company, and to see how the Mexican market is changing:
Can you tell us first about about the Aerolineas Ejecutivas fleet?
“Aerolineas Ejecutivas was born 45 years ago down in Mexico City, we are the largest executive aviation company from the US all the way down to Brazil. We cover all the services required for corporate aviation, we go from charter service, one time charter service, flying from all our four bases. We have bases in Monterrey, Toluca – which is our main base – Merida, and Leon Guanajuato . We cover from the charter services all the way to new aircraft sales. We go from charter service, a fractional programme, an hour card programme, a pre-owned division and also FBO services. We are exclusive dealers for HondaJet, Bombardier and Beechcraft down in Mexico. We are the largest company, the most professional, and we are proud to say the best in Mexico.”
“We have 23 aircraft in our fleet. We operate Hawker 400XPs, LearJet 45s and Hawker 750, 800 and 850s, but we also manage or administrate over 60 aircraft. We go from King Airs all the way up to Gulftsream IVs and Gulfstream Vs.”
Are all managed aircraft available for charter?
“Not all of them, although some of them are, because of the relationship that we have with the owners. But not everybody likes to lease their planes for charter.”
What is the charter market like in Mexico at the moment?
“We at Aerolineas Ejecutivas have around 40-45 per cent share of the charter market in Mexico, because of the size of our fleet. Our nearest competitor is growing, because the Mexican market is growing; the Mexican business aviation market is growing, because it’s getting more educated. Small and medium businesses are starting to understand the benefits that business aviation can bring to their business. But our closest competitor has six aircraft. So, yes they are competition, but we are by far the largest company, and the only one that can cover all their needs. And we also have two helicopters in our fleet.”
How big is charter market in Mexico, has it slowed down?
“No, I think it’s expanding, because of the competition acquiring more aircraft. We are also renewing our fleet, so I think that right now in the economic moment we’re living in Mexico is a very good one. The economy is stable, we’re going pretty well, so the market is at a high point right now.”
But still room to grow?
“Yes, and that’s what we want to do. We want to educate all the people who are not currently our customers that business aviation can bring a lot more than glamour and status to their lives and to their business. It can bring convenience, it can bring time, it can even bring you some savings time wise and in transportation security, safety etc.”
What’s a typical charter route?
“Our charter business is equally divided between business and pleasure, it’s both of them.”
Do you think the split is really 50/50?
“Yes. I’ve come to notice that its 50/50 between business and pleasure. So a lot of our popular destinations are beaches, Acapulco, Ixtapa, Cancun, or tourist centres like Houston, San Antonio, Vegas, Los Angeles. And also a lot of business centres, within the country, and also up in the States.”
How about further afield, do your aircraft come into Europe a lot?
“We don’t have any aircraft [in our own fleet] that can fly over there. But the other ones that we care for can, with Madrid, Paris and London as popular destinations.”
You mentioned earlier that education is a barrier to Mexican growth, but are there any other issues in Mexican business aviation at the moment?
“Yes, I think there are. Not all of our competitors or all of the charter services in Mexico are certified, that is safety certified, IS-BAO, Wyvern, or Argus. We do have those three certificates. From my point of view when you see that one plane crashed, it’s bad for us because, well it’s obviously bad publicity although we have never had an incident. But when somebody asks me I’ll answer that you can fly with whoever you want but make sure that they do cover these safety features and safety procedures. Because you’re flying, it’s your own life. And I think that’s one of the challenges in Mexico. All of the operators need to be certified, to cover safety standards, such as we do. When we are able to make that sure that everybody covers those then I think that the market will expand even more.”
Talking about expansion, are there any plans to add any additional aircraft into your own fleet?
“Yes, we are renewing our fleet. We are making some plans for new aircraft, three or four new aircraft in the next three years. And renewing the other ones that we have.”
What sort of size aircraft are you looking at?
“As I mentioned earlier we are HondaJet dealers, so we are going to have some HondaJets, maybe some LearJets, so from small to mid-size jets.”