Latin America Could Be White Knight in Bizav Recovery

 - August 5, 2010, 11:33 AM

Latin American countries are poised to play an important part in business aviation’s recovery, according to aviation consultant Brian Foley. “Latin America has historically been the third-largest market for business aircraft,” he said. There are nearly 31,000 private business jets and turboprops worldwide, with 62 percent based in the U.S. and Canada, followed by 13 percent in Europe and a “surprising” 12 percent in Latin America. In terms of fleet composition, jets outnumber turboprops by two to one in North America and Europe, but in Latin America, where the airport environment can often be challenging, turboprops have a slight edge. “But what the world is watching now is market activity,” Foley said, “and this is another area where Latin America will likely shine. Europe’s debt crisis and the lagging U.S. economy have made those aviation markets sluggish. Latin America, being relatively insulated from these difficulties, should later prove to have been a bright spot in the overall recovery.” Foley’s confidence in Latin America is partly based on regional stock-market performance, which is one indicator of general aviation health. “While it’s natural for aviation companies to seek opportunities in fast-growing Asia, they should not turn their backs on traditional markets like Latin America,” he concluded.