With a proven resistance against the economic ups and downs, the aviation industry in Mexico has a healthy potential for growth at record levels, supported by the robust flow of travelers worldwide, experts say.
Aeronautics industry in Mexico is the gold mine of the economy
Despite its relative "youth", the sector has recorded sustained growth of close to 15% in its exports, since records began in 2004, according to data from the Mexican Federation of the Aerospace Industry (Femia).
The general director of Femia, Luis Lizcano, estimated that 2018 could have closed at levels of US $ 8 billion 500 million in terms of shipments abroad and with a workforce of 60,000 people.
The figures contrast with the US $ 7.6 billion in 2017, when the burgeoning sector employed 50,000 people. In addition, it represents an explosive increase against the US $ 1 billion in 2004.
"Mexico has achieved in less than a decade to consolidate a competitive structure in this sector," Lizcano told Xinhua.
"Our country is now number 12 in exports worldwide and the intention is to continue growing in terms of all areas of an aircraft, from interiors, structures, landing gear, turbines, design and maintenance," he added.
Mexico has more than 300 industrial facilities of a hundred international and local companies, which are concentrated in the states of Baja California (north), Sonora (north), Chihuahua (north), Nuevo León (north) and, to a greater extent , in Querétaro (center).
80% of aeronautical production is destined for the United States, a country with which the transit of goods did not stop, even with the uncertainty associated with the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which culminated successfully at the end of last year.
For his part, the president of the Femia, Felipe de Jesus Sandoval, said that "the industry proved to be much more resistant to global swings, and is more stable in economic and financial matters."
"There is an immense, impressive opportunity for the national industry to develop the capabilities, as the automotive industry has already done successfully," the expert said.
According to their estimates, only 5% of the total manufacturing chain currently operates in the local aeronautical sector, while in the automotive industry, one of the most successful in the Mexican economy, the percentage is 65%.
In this regard, the president in Mexico of the French multinational Safran, Daniel Parfait, told Xinhua that the company is raising its investments annually to expand its capabilities, given the strong demand for its products, ranging from harnesses to airplanes, landing gear. and maintenance of engines.
"The outlook is absolutely excellent, we continue to invest a lot and have grown in recent years in a spectacular way," said the executive.
"I really see a great future for Mexico, we have not felt any impact because of the trade negotiations between Mexico and its partners, and I think that it will continue," he predicted.
Safran has 20 facilities in the country in which it employs 13,000 people. In 2012 it had 4,000 employees.
The French company's global sales grew 26% last year, a percentage that also applies to Mexico, according to Parfait.
Meanwhile, the regional director and government relations of Boeing for Latin America, Edward Tobon, considered that the expectation for the largest manufacturer of aircraft in the world is not only good for Mexico, but in general for the region.
"The aviation industry is going to double, there is a lot of growth in the number of passengers and production will increase," he said.
"The biggest supplier for us is Mexico, and in terms of aviation growth, Brazil is also important, but in general the region is fine," Tobon added.
In the case of Mexico, Boeing acquires around 1 trillion aircraft parts annually.
For Latin America, the manufacturer has 1,500 aircraft in demand, a figure that will double over the next 15 to 20 years, the executive said.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted late last year that the current trend suggests that the global passenger flow could double to 8.2 billion in 2037.
For Latin America, the expansion will be at a rate of 3.6% per year, reaching 731 million in 2037, 371 million more than the current state.