The Latin America Aviation & LCCs Summit held by CAPA - Centre for Aviation explores the key strategic issues impacting the Latin American aviation sector, with Day 1 focusing on the regional aviation outlook and Day 2 dedicated specifically to issues affecting the region’s LCCs.
ICF Principal Carlos Ozores will moderate two panels focused on low cost carriers and the Latin America aviation market.
- The Evolution of LCC Business Models vs. Traditional Business Models in Latin America
Latin America’s high internet penetration, historically high fares, and a growing middle class provide ideal conditions for the growth of the LCC model, but as with other markets worldwide, low cost carriers in Latin America have taken on a variety of permutations in response to varied operating conditions in each individual market. Just as their full service peers have hybridized and adopted characteristics more commonly found in LCCs, many of Latin America’s LCCs have also taken on traditional full service carrier attributes such as premium seating, alliances, and codesharing. For example, Brazilian low cost carriers Azul and GOL openly target the lucrative business passenger market and have always stuck to a hybrid model from their inception, in contrast with ULCCs such as Volaris and JetSMART, who adhere to true low cost principles – although even that is changing now with the former forging a codeshare with Frontier.
- Overcoming Infrastructure Constraints: What is needed from the airports?
Latin America faces several barriers to higher LCC including: high airport costs, lack of adequate airport infrastructure, and the scarcity of secondary airports. Major airports in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru are overcrowded, a problem that will only worsen in the near term without adequate remedies. By not addressing the urgent infrastructure needs of the region, IATA says Latin America will leave USD$42 billion of unrealized economic benefits on the table by 2034, a period during which passenger growth in Latin America is expected to double and the air transport industry’s contribution to regional GDP could jump from USD$140 billion to USD$322 billion.