Flightglobal Ascend senior analyst Sara Saci examines how the airline fleets of fast-growing Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey are expanding
As the European market struggles - with several of its countries in a weak financial position - and the Chinese market's impressive growth abates, a group of nations labelled "MIST" is emerging, ready to knock a brick out of the economic wall.
However, the real question is: can the MIST members - Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey - replicate the success of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies?
Collectively, the MIST countries appear to be emerging from the global crisis better than the major economies. Their post-crisis performance is notable, especially for best performer Indonesia. The Southeast-Asian nation, which stood resilient amidst the 2008 shock, has experienced the highest economic growth of any MIST country since 2006.
Indonesia recorded an average annual growth of 6% between 2006 and 2011, followed by Turkey at 4%, South Korea with 3.7%, and Mexico at 2%. According to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit projections, the collective growth rates of MIST countries will continue to exceed that of the G7 nations up to 2030.
For the MIST nations, GDP per capita is increasing at a fast rate, leading to a rapid improvement in standards of living. Indonesia is expected to register the fastest GDP per capita growth among the MIST countries - 6.7% per year between 2006 and 2030. South Korea's forecast GDP per capita is approaching that of the USA.
Strong economic growth rates per head for the MIST nations is enabling the rise of a new travelling middle class which will, in turn, fuel demand for new aircraft.
MIST countries are also expected to undergo strong growth in international passenger traffic during the next three years.
The in-service fleet has grown by 70% during the past 10 years, led by Turkey (a 154% increase to 327 aircraft) and Indonesia (124% to 320 aircraft). This is largely the result of the rapid expansion of national flag carrier Turkish Airlines and Indonesian carriers Garuda Airlines and rival Lion Air.
The number of aircraft on order also gives a clear sign of bullish air traffic growth in the MIST countries, which currently have 679 aircraft on order, compared with only 81 a decade ago. Indonesia is leading with 464 aircraft, although some of these will be for Lion Air subsidiaries in other Southeast Asian countries.
Growth in Mexico is intriguing as it has, until now, been missing from developments in the Latin American market. With Aeromexico joining leading Latin American airline groups in the publicly traded arena, Mexico's aviation industry may finally catch up with its competitors to the south.
The Mexican market has been constantly changing in recent years. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of airlines was stable - only their names have changed. Seven airlines disappeared from the radar between 2007 and 2010, including the industry's biggest casualty during the global recession, Mexicana.
The market may finally be stabilising with a group of four main carriers: legacy carrier Aeromexico, and low-cost operators Interjet, VivaAerobus and Volaris.
Aeromexico, combined with its budget airline Aeromexico Connect, has the largest fleet with 114 aircraft in service and is the main international carrier.
Interjet, which operates 25 domestic and six international routes, has become the largest domestic mainline carrier in Mexico in terms of seat capacity.
Interjet, which operates a fleet of 35 Airbus A320s, increased its seat capacity by 7% during 2011-2012, bringing its total volume to almost nine million domestic seats . In the meantime competitors Volaris (37 A319/A320s) and VivaAerobus (18 Boeing 737-300s) recorded rises of 20% and 7% respectively in total domestic seat capacity during the same period.
More growth is expected across the domestic and international network, with airlines in Mexico taking delivery of 21 aircraft in 2012. Mexican airlines have 268 aircraft in service and 197 on order. When all options and letters of intent are counted, the total will rise to 291 aircraft. This would be a major turning point, especially when compared with 2000, when there were only 10 orders, options or letters of intent.
The fleet on order will see the introduction of new types in the Mexican market, with the entry of the Boeing 787 (Aeromexico), Airbus A320neo (Volaris), Boeing 737 Max (Aeromexico) and Sukhoi Superjet 100 (Interjet).
Mexico, and Latin America as a whole, have strong potential in terms of traffic growth, which in turn will stimulate demand for new aircraft. Ascend predicts the fleet will double in Latin America during the next 10 years.