Brazil-based boutique private airline Flapper is to initiate Mexican operations in the second quarter of 2020. The company cites a large domestic market and low utilisation of technology as the key motives behind selecting the country as its first international market.
CEO Paul Malicki is confident that it will have a permanent positive impact on the local business aviation scene. “The Mexican market is attractive for us for a number of reasons, including the large domestic fleet, proximity to the US and the existence of a private aviation hub at Toluca airport,” he says. “At the same time the country faces the same challenges as Brazil, with little utilisation of technology and large fragmentation of the air taxi segment. Our intention is to turn private aviation into the mainstream travel option and increase the size of the existing market.”
Malicki estimates that more than 35 per cent of Flapper's customers have never flown private before. By offering seats in general aviation aircraft and simplifying the charter booking process, the company claims to increase the use of such services. Its app currently counts 160,000 users in Brazil but is yet to be localised to the Spanish language and the local currency; this is a key project for 2020.
As of today, Flapper has already registered its first 10 air taxi operators and is in advanced discussions with Mexican investors who will finance its expansion. Market size is expected to be around US$700 million, and it plans to offer high-season flights between Toluca and Acapulco, as well as empty legs across the country. The proprietary quotation system will be used by charter clients who can receive prices in real-time.
While Brazil is its main market, Flapper has already made several flights into neighbouring countries and intends to increase its offer across Spanish-speaking Latin America.