ALTA: Airbus bullish after VivaAerobus success

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Airbus is ready for more "ferocious fights" with Boeing in Latin America after its success in the campaign at VivaAerobus, as it predicts long-term demand for more than 2,300 new aircraft in the region.

The manufacturer secured an order last month for 52 A320-family aircraft – including 40 of the re-engined A320neo variant, along with 40 options – when Mexican low-cost carrier VivaAerobus decided to switch from incumbent supplier Boeing. The deal was valued at $5.1 billion.

"It was a very difficult campaign – we had to work very, very hard to make it a win," says Rafael Alonso, Airbus’s executive vice-president for Latin America and the Caribbean. "Sometimes to change suppliers is difficult for an airline. The fact that we won this one shows that we have a good product."

Although a number of the region’s airlines have already sided with either Airbus or Boeing for their narrowbody fleets, Alonso says Airbus "will try to win any opportunity" in future campaigns. He adds that with three Mexican airlines having now chosen Airbus, "why not someone else?"

Airbus expects the Latin American airliner fleet to expand from just over 1,200 aircraft today to almost 3,000 aircraft in 2032. Of these, 554 aircraft will be for replacement and 1,753 for growth, and the remaining 665 will be the portion of today’s fleet remaining in service.

"There is demand for 2,307 new deliveries into the region and, based on recent deals, this figure looks conservative," says Alonso. "But that’s what our experts say."