CEO of ALTA reflects on civil aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2023

José Ricardo Botelho, provides a summary of the work and evolution carried out by the sector in the year that has just ended

(Source: ALTA)

2023 has just ended and, when looking at the results of the work carried out by all the sectors that make up the civil aviation ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean, I feel deep pride in being part of a sector that - even without support and, in many cases, with headwinds - has managed to recover in a spectacular and exemplary way to offer users the safest and most efficient means of transportation.

In this same exercise of introspection I also feel deep concern. Despite the notable efforts of the industry in the region, we see how in many cases aviation is still perceived as a luxury service, as an industry from which profit can be obtained without considering that it is a sector with very low margins. . We see how some authorities still dictate unilateral measures that not only harm the development of aviation, but also hinder the healthy development of the economies of their countries and end up affecting the population, both those who use air transport, as well as those They sustain a job opportunity every time a plane lands in their community.

We are at a crucial moment. The world faces unprecedented challenges and aviation is more important than ever. It is the engine that drives trade, investment, tourism and culture. It is the force that unites people and communities.

Raising our level of consciousness involves understanding the unappealable role of aviation. First of all, it is necessary to understand that aviation is a sector closely linked to our economies, an engine of well-being and prosperity: specifically, aviation supports almost 8 million jobs in the region and contributes 3.5% of the region's GDP.

We have recently asked the world what a world would be like without aviation and we realized that without it modern life would not only be more difficult but also more expensive. Our countries benefit from air transportation to export food and goods, also to import them, to establish new businesses, to reach remote corners where help and development are required, generating progress for thousands of people.

Despite this, some political decisions harm the industry. Examples are the decision to require visas for crew members, the increase in airport taxes that make air transportation more expensive for passengers and hinder the growth of an essential sector to connect locations, bureaucracy that reduces agility in processes and times to comply with commitments. of the operation, the lack of concrete actions that allow maintaining capacity in line with passenger demand in important airports in the region that activate a broad value chain that generates jobs, opportunities and development.

These are unilateral measures that threaten the aviation industry in Latin America. It is crucial that governments recognize aviation as an ally to achieve the socioeconomic development of their countries. It is not only an economic engine, but also a unifying force that allows communities around the world to receive essential products and maintain cultural and economic connections. Aviation is vital for our countries to expand the avenues necessary to boost international trade and cooperation.

When doing this review, I can only hope that during 2024 the governments of our region have a greater understanding of the essential role that aviation plays and that we act accordingly. The industry is at a critical moment. It is time to act, to give wings to aviation. Only by working together with coherent State Agendas will we see that Together, as a region, We Rise.

Jose Ricardo Botelho, CEO of ALTA.


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