Language plays a significant role in the development of the Latin American aviation market

Sep 6th, 2012

Recently Aeroméxico – the flag carrier of Mexico – has announced of planning to acquire 100 Boeing 737-8 MAX and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in addition to the previously ordered 19 Boeing and 10 Embraer aircraft. The LATAM Airlines Group, which currently maintains a consolidated fleet of over 300 aircraft, has announced a $7,870 billion worth of fleet renewal plans for 2012-2014. Meanwhile, the IATA has reported a 5,7% growth in the Latin American demand for International flights in July, which is the second highest rate among all other world’s regions.

‘Though currently Latin America represents only about 5% of the global air passenger market the recent billion-worth aircraft orders clearly indicate that the region will see one of the strongest aviation development rates in the nearest future. On the other hand, larger fleets operated by regional carriers will trigger the necessity for more effective supply solutions. This, however, may face some language-related obstacles,’ commented the CEO of Locatory.com Zilvinas Sadauskas.

The development within Latin America is also likely to pose only minor language-related issues

Many of the Latin American carriers have already developed strong procurement networks with suppliers from across the USA. One of the factors which have undoubtedly contributed to the successful development was the absence of language barriers, since many of the local suppliers have Latin American origins and thus fluently speak Spanish.

‘The development within Latin America is also likely to pose only minor language-related issues. Due to language similarity, Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking businesses can easily intercommunicate with each other. However, it may become a real problem should suppliers from Asia, Africa or non-Iberian European countries try to enter the Latin American market. Though the employees of the local aviation companies do possess the basic English language skills, the absolute majority of them still prefer to communicate in Spanish or Portuguese only. This creates natural obstacles for potential suppliers, particularly from Asia. With the leading world manufacturers to develop aircraft and/or their components’ assembly lines in Asian countries, the offer from the region with relatively cheap labour force will be increasing with each year. However, the Latin American airline market may be deprived of potential suppliers, since the two regions represent completely different cultures and language groups. The possibilities of miscommunication between a Chinese supplier and a Latin American customer aren’t hard to imagine. Fortunately, should aviation suppliers worldwide embrace specialized multilingual systems, carriers, MROs and their suppliers will receive the opportunity to conduct mutually beneficial business relationships, whilst enhancing the development of aviation without frontiers,’ commented Karla Grauzas, the Business Development Manager for Latin America at Locatory.com.

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