August 22, 2012
Business jet makers, still searching for global economic stability, are finding more solid footing in Latin America and have taken efforts to expand their presence in the region.
The Latin American business jet fleet has grown 10% in the past year, outpacing most regions worldwide, except Asia, analyst Brian Foley notes, citing JetNet data.
Historically, light and midsize business jets have reigned in Latin America, but more recently large business jets have experienced a 17% growth rate, and the smallest of business jets–including models such as the Cessna Citation Mustang and Embraer Phenom 100–have grown 20%, according to Foley.
Gulfstream has watched its fleet nearly triple in Latin America in the past six years from 58 to 150 aircraft, and the Savannah, Ga., manufacturer says the region now accounts for 8% of its worldwide fleet. Following recent trends, the large-cabin, long-range models are its biggest sellers in the region, prompting Gulfstream to expand its support in Brazil.
Gulfstream recently rebranded a maintenance facility in Sorocabo outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, marking its first factory service in Latin America and only one of three planned outside the U.S. Gulfstream also operates one in London and will open a third in Beijing.
“This will become an increasingly important hub for us,” says Gulfstream President Larry Flynn of the Sorocabo facility. Gulfstream has added capabilities to ensure the 35,000 sq. ft. (3,250 sq. meter) center can support all Brazil-registered Gulfstream aircraft.
Likewise, Dassault says it is expanding its Sorocaba service center to meet demand. The facility opened in 2009 and has received authorizations to work on Falcons registered in the U.S., Bermuda and Argentina; approval for European aircraft is pending.
The Falcon fleet, meanwhile, continues to expand in Brazil, and Dassault expects to deliver at least six more this year.