Airbus’ presence at this week’s FIDAE 2016 air show in Chile underscores the company’s leading presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than 600 jetliners in operation and market share of 65 per cent based on the to-be-delivered aircraft backlog.
Rafael Alonso, the Airbus head in Latin American and the Caribbean, said the region’s carriers are setting global standards by flying some of the world’s youngest fleets, driven by a highly competitive market. The in-service fleet average age is just over nine years old, as illustrated by the service entry last January of Airbus’ new A350 XWB with TAM Airlines of the LATAM Airlines Group, and the upcoming introduction of A320neo (new engine option) Family aircraft in Brazil and Mexico.
Brazil represents more than one third of Latin America’s air traffic overall, a figure that has more than doubled since 2000, according to Alonso. Appropriately, this country is the largest market for Airbus in Latin America, with its aircraft flown by the LATAM Airlines Group, Azul Linhas Aereas and Avianca Brasil.
Alonso anticipates tremendous growth in Mexico, where Airbus has four prominent customers: Volaris, Interjet and VivaAerobus (all of which are low-cost carriers); and cargo operator Aerounion.
Looking to the future, Alonso foresees additional opportunities as airlines build on the consolidation and alliances that were forged in previous years, and as the region continues to benefit from traffic growth – noting that nine of the world’s 91 aviation mega-cities will be situated in Latin America by 2034.

TAM Airlines – which took delivery of its no. 1 A350 XWB in December 2015 – is the first operator from the Americas to receive this new-generation Airbus jetliner