General Director, SITA
There are a number of opportunities in Mexico, and SITA is focused on three different sectors: airports, airlines, and governments. Mexico City Airport surpassed São Paulo Airport as the biggest airport in Latin America two years ago. Mexico’s economy is growing, and there is a lot of speculation about what is going to happen under the new administration. So far, tourism has been growing and depending on the decisions of the new government, we will have tremendous opportunities on the airport side. At present, SITA has services in the Mexico City Airport and Toluca International Airport, as well as ASUR and GAP airports, and we are waiting to get into the new Santa Lucía Airport. SITA is well positioned to help the government with its new decisions regarding airports. All the airlines in Mexico are growing as evident from the numbers of Aeromexico, Volaris, Interjet, and Viva Aerobus. For SITA, these airlines present great opportunities on the IT side and the airport side. With the last government, we were able to implement 100 immigration kiosks at international airports (Mexico City, Cancún, and Los Cabos), and we are sure that plenty of opportunities will arise with the new government.
CEO, Mexicana MRO Services
2018 was an interesting year for the private aviation industry because we had a new President who did not want to use a private airline. So that immediately changed the environment. If the President does not want to fly in a private jet, then governors and other people from the government will not be using them either. Therefore, 2018 was a different kind of year for our industry facing this new public sector attitude, but at the end of the day this is a creative industry. After the election, we saw a lot of uncertainty in the industry with the public sector stopping these kinds of services. But things have returned to normal in 2019, more or less. The private aviation business is a difficult industry to understand on the financial side. Someone once told me that the private aviation industry is not for customers who care about money; it is for those who care about time. I would say that 95% of Eolo’s business comes from the private sector. We still have some public-sector clients, such as people from some state governments using our services for a day visit. But this type of business has decreased significantly because of the President’s decision not to use private aircraft. We are definitely focused on the private sector. We think whoever flies privately is going to be high-end.
Managing Director, Mauricio Margáin
The country needs to focus on improving its relationship with aeronautic authorities around the world and its manufacturing capacity to become a global hub for the aerospace industry. When it comes to manufacturing, Mexico has maintained a great pace since the local industry began, and combined with the cluster it now has a double-digit annual growth rate. However, Mexico still needs to improve its international agreements for airworthiness. It has a BASA with the US, but not with Canada, which would be an important stepping stone for the country. It would allow the industry a more international reach. In terms of maintenance, there is also a good pace as we have significant diversification on different lines of business such as converting passenger planes to cargo, line maintenances, and international maintenance services. Paradoxically, the decision to not build the new airport, while unfortunate for the country, was advantageous for our company as by opening it and closing the current one, we would have had to relocate our operations and invest in new infrastructure in a time window of just six years.
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