The Business Year

Hugo H. Guiraud V.

PANAMA - Transport

Up & Away

President, Mapiex

Bio

Hugo H. Guiraud V. is a Panamanian airline transport pilot and businessman. He founded Mapiex Group in 1981 and has been an influential figure in Panama’s aviation industry ever since.

TBY talks to Hugo H. Guiraud V., President of Mapiex, on industry trends, Panamanian human capital, and plans for the future.

What is the history of Mapiex?

I founded Mapiex in 1981. We started selling aircraft parts and providing charter flights. Today, 34 years later, we run a complete FBO in Panama with services at eight different local airports. Our services include aircraft part sales, an aeronautical repair shop, air charter, ground handling, landing and over flight permits, fuel supply, and in-house customs and immigration services. Mapiex Group is a family business and continues to grow.

What are some other examples of clients that you serve?

We have had the opportunity to provide outstanding services to important customers such as the world’s most important and recognized businessmen, several presidents, famous people in the music and film industry, and many other important personalities from all around the world. We have been privileged to serve these clients.

What are your recommendations for using an FBO in Panama?

A large number of private flights prefer the Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport because it is more comfortable and much quicker. In our facilities, passengers and crew can go directly from the plane to the VIP lounge area, where they immediately receive customs and immigration services. We are also located next to the main street and have our own exit door, so customers can leave shortly after their arrival. We also recommend the Panamá Pací­fico International Airport, as long as the weather conditions are appropriate, because it is also close to the city and we can give both crew and passengers the same services, making their stay as short and comfortable as possible. Tocumen International Airport is our best-known airport of entry for airline passengers but it is not our first choice for FBO services. Tocumen has a lot of traffic and private airplanes usually have to go to reboot the platform, therefore it is not comfortable for the customers because they have to go through the same route and procedure as a regular airline passenger to pass through customs and immigration. We also offer services in the Tocumen Airport, although it is not particularly comfortable for clients.

What trends have you noticed in the aviation industry in Panama?

In the last few years, Panama’s development has increased the aviation industry. In our particular case, we have had continuous growth in our private and corporate flight services. Mapiex currently has more than a 73% market share for FBO ground-handling services of all private airplanes attended in Panama.

How do you assess the human capital in the industry in Panama?

We are proud to say that we have over 100 Panamanian employees. We are committed to having the best instructors in the aviation industry and maintaining a continuous and rigorous training program for our employees.

What are your plans for expansion?

We are currently working on the following three new products as short-term expansion projects: providing our new FBO ground handling services at new airports in Cuba; services for Pratt & Whitney (an American aerospace manufacturer); and services for Turbomeca engines. We are also working on increasing and developing our services at Panamá Pací­fico International Airport.

How will you stay ahead of the competition?

We have always been focused on improving and expanding our range of services. Our expansion plans are based on maintaining our operational safety standards and providing the best service. We have been the market leaders in our services in Panama and we keep updated in our industry to ensure the delivery of leading-edge solutions to our clients.

What are your expectations for 2016?

Some of our services may be affected by the economies of other countries this year, but this is a cyclical trend. It will be an interesting year for Mapiex Group, but our expectation until now is to continue growing, as we have so far.

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