FIDAE Airbus

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The world’s biggest airliner, the Airbus A380, is again taking pride of place at FIDAE, as the European airframer reports “growing interest” in the superjumbo from the region’s airlines.

No Latin American carriers have ordered the A380, with infrastructure at several of the big airports one challenge any operator would have to face. However, Rafael Alonso, Airbus’s new president of Latin America and the Caribbean, hopes the aircraft will fly in Brazil and Mexico soon. Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa and Emirates “have all publically declared an interest to serve [Sao Paulo’s] Guarulhos airport”, he adds.

Airbus has had more success with its other types in the region, tripling its in-service fleet in the past 10 years and securing a 60% market share of the fleet, says Alonso. “With more than 800 aircraft sold and a backlog of nearly 400, more than 500 Airbus aircraft are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean,” he adds.

Notable recent deals include an order for four A330-200s for Aerolineas Argentinas in February, while Mexico’s VivaAerobus received the first of dozens of A320s the same month.

Airbus’s latest aircraft, the A350, has made several appearances in Latin America as part of its flight certification process.

Alonso, an Airbus veteran in the region since the late 1980s, began his career with Boeing as an engineer in Seattle. He moved to CASA in Spain – then a partner in the Airbus consortium – in 1983, and moved to Toulouse as regional sales manager for Latin America the following year.

Airbus’s latest Global Market Forecast predicts a market for 2,300 new airliners in Latin America over the next 20 years.