Business aviation analyst Brian Foley believes that the Latin American market has been under-appreciated by the industry. “It currently accounts for 10 percent of all the world’s business jets, and it operates on a somewhat different economic cycle,” he said. While the European general aviation markets are essentially stagnant and the Asian markets appear to be slowing, Latin America “will continue to play a key role in sustaining what has been a troubled industry, hopefully until the U.S. market regains its strength,” he said.
According to data from JetNet, the Latin American-based business jet fleet has grown by 10 percent (about 200 airplanes) in the last year, to 2,100 aircraft. Interestingly, Foley said, it was the smallest and the largest jet fleets that gained the most in the region. Very light jets expanded by 20 percent in Latin America over the past year, and large-cabin jets experienced 17-percent growth. Though light and medium jets have previously dominated the Latin American market, they recorded much slower growth last year–less than 10 percent, he said.
As for regional market shifts, Foley said Brazil is moderating somewhat, while Mexico is coming back following its elections.