Although the annual Brazilian LABACE show is relatively small, it is celebrating its 16th year (although it’s the 15th show as one was skipped), and a dedicated group of exhibitors and attendees once again filled the exhibit hall and static display ramp.
Aircraft manufacturers and local service providers remain optimistic about the business aviation market in Brazil, although most are awaiting the results of the presidential election in October in the hope that this will stabilize the economy and encourage increased spending.
Manufacturers brought their newest aircraft to LABACE 2018, including Gulfstream’s technologically advanced fly-by-wire G600, Textron Aviation’s Citation Longitude, the single-engine Cirrus Vision Jet, Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet Elite, the Embraer Phenom 300E, and Piper’s M600 single-engine turboprop.
Embraer Executive Jets will continue as a standalone company, along with Embraer’s defense and security businesses, after Boeing’s planned purchase of an 80 percent stake in Embraer takes place. Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva is confident that Embraer Executive Jets will continue developing new and upgraded products and providing strong customer support after the Boeing deal is consummated.
Flavio Pires, CEO of Brazilian business aviation association ABAG, welcomed this year’s new LABACE exhibitors and the more than 2,000 attendees on the first day. A big concern this year for Brazilian business aviation has been piracy, where non-approved entities are offering charter flights, maintenance, and parts, and ABAG is leading the fight against gray market operators as are other associations and civil aviation authority ANAC.
LABACE exhibitor Pratt & Whitney Canada, which manufacturers turbine engines that power many business aircraft and helicopters in Brazil, is forecasting growth in the Latin America fixed-wing business aircraft fleet of 44 percent by 2027, outpacing worldwide growth projected at more than 15 percent for that period. In 2017, said Satheeshkumar Kumarasingam, P&WC’s v-p customer service, GAMA-reporting OEMs will deliver 80 fixed-wing business aircraft to Latin America in 2027, compared with 41 in 2017.