Several airlines have gone out of business already this year, including Hungary’s national carrier Malev, while American Airlines is in bankruptcy and fighting off takeover bids. In Latin America, however, it’s a different story entirely.
Airlines in Latin America are taking to the skies in increasing numbers. “According to the International Air Transport Association, the region is the fastest-growing airline market in the world, with passenger-demand growth of 10.2% last year, more than double North America’s 4.0%.”
As this article in Barron’s shows, the effect is widespread. Copa Airlines’ revenue is up 30% and traffic is up 22% year-over-year. The merged Avianca and Taca saw a traffic rise of 40% and a tripling of profits. LAN is opening new routes after buying up the #2 carrier in Colombia.
Brazil’s Gol is not looking as healthy, but future prospects are still good. The resource-based economy is doing well and both the World Cup and Olympics are on the way in coming years.
The same writer recently did an interview in the Los Angeles Times with Fabio Vellegas, CEO of AviancaTaca. Check that out for some more insight on that carrier.
So when you pull up flights on your favorite booking engine, make sure it includes these other carriers. Not only are they better-run, they also offer more amenities and better service. I usually find that Vayama.com has the best selection of international carriers.