November 2, 2006:
Spain's Wondair will acquire 24 Phenom 100s as it targets the growing European air taxi market and pursues plans to expand its fleet to more than 45 aircraft by 2011.
The on-demand operator, launched 10 years ago purely to service an associated company's transport needs, has also placed an option for an additional 12 aircraft. The contract allows Wondair to change from Phenom 100s to Phenom 300s to meet market demand.
Javier Diez, ceo of the Valencia-based Wondair On Demand Aviation, says the fleet will fly from six permanent bases by 2011 and he expects there to be a major demand for air taxis.
Wondair's current fleet consists of Citation Ultras and Super King Air 200s.
Diez anticipates the first Phenom will be delivered in the second half of 2009. He forecasts that the
demand for functional air taxis will grow faster than that for "luxury" private aircraft.
He adds: "Although we've been considering many other aircraft, the smart choice was the Phenom 100. It is ideally suited to the operation we are planning. It has the largest cabin in its class, translating into the best comfort for our passengers."
Alfredo Gregori, proprietor of Wondair, turned to executive aviation around ten years ago to help him develop a flourishing food business. He found private aircraft necessary to meet the working demands of a growing network that involved distribution throughout Spain, 60 contractors, more than 500 delivery vans, and factories in Portugal, Turkey and Morocco.
The purchase of a Cessna 414 was followed by the acquisition of a Corvette. Gregori then acquired the Corvette supplier and other companies as he built the private aircraft company in tandem with the food business.
Interwelcome VIP Handling Services was created to support expansion, air services were registered under the Aeropublic trademark, and aircraft maintenance and pilot and crew training were developed.
Diez says: "Our handling business will continue to grow along with the main aviation business development. By 2012 our established aviation business will reach yearly revenues in the order of US$120 million. To us, aviation as a means of transport has turned into a business in itself."