Nearly 150 industry participants gathered in São José dos Campos on May 16 & 17 for the Latin America Sales and Marketing group’s seventh annual Airline Business Seminar. The popular event attracts representatives from airlines, suppliers and academia and serves as a forum to exchange information, network, and hear prominent speakers present their views on the issues facing the airline business in Latin America. Four sponsors – Shell Aviation, GE, SITA and Sabre Airline Solutions – co-hosted the seminar with Embraer.
This year’s conference agenda included presentations on aircraft financing, traffic forecasts, alliances and mergers, fuel costs, advancements in information technology and airport development. Peter Belobaba, the head of International Center for Air Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave his perspective on the influence of revenue management in the region given the recent rise of so many low-fare airlines. It was a particularly relevant speech since it was followed by GOL’s Mauricio Emboaba who talked about network planning at the Brazilian airline, and marketing director Gianfranco Betting of Azul who outlined the low-fare carrier’s plans for continuous improvements.
Latin America, particularly Brazil, has seen tremendous growth in passenger traffic in the last three years and the addition of many new aircraft in the 70 to 120-seat capacity segment. There are over 150 E-Jets flying with airlines in Latin America. Future trends were analyzed by Michael Linenberg, the Managing Director of Deustche Bank, Miles Walton, Deutsche Bank’s Director and Senior Aerospace & Defense Analyst, and Nawal Taneja, Aviation Professor Emeritus at Ohio State University.
Prior to a traditional Brazilian churrasco dinner, seminar participants had an opportunity to tour Embraer’s facility and see E-Jets in production on the assembly line and in the finishing hangar where customers make their final inspections prior to delivery.