Industry to Fully Recover by 2024: FEMIABy Antonio Gozain | Fri, 08/20/2021 - 16:15
The Mexican aerospace industry will be fully recovered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2024, said to A21 René Espinosa, President of the Mexican Federation of the Aerospace Industry (FEMIA).
FEMIA estimates that by the end of 2021, the total income for the industry will increase by 6-10 percent, compared to 2020. “It is a small recovery that gives us confidence that we will take back our pre-pandemic numbers in 2024,” said Espinosa.
For the last decade, the aerospace industry saw constant double-digit growth, averaging 14.2 percent until 2019, a year like no other according to Carlos Robles, Vice President of the Central Region of FEMIA, who wrote in MBN: “In 2019, the industry registered a historical peak in passenger volume. Demand was at its best in years.”
Before 2020, Mexico’s aerospace industry exported on average US$9.6 billion per year and represented 60,000 direct jobs. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, revenue went down to US$6.6 billion, a 31.8 percent decrease, said Espinosa.
The pandemic was not the only problem for the industry. The Boeing 737 Max, which had many Mexican suppliers, was grounded worldwide in March 2019. All 387 aircraft stopped operating, leading several airlines to cancel their orders of the troubled aircraft. The cancellations led Boeing to cut down production, a decision that rippled throughout the entire supply chain. “The return of the 737 Max will undoubtedly be good for Mexico’s aerospace companies as it is one of the world’s most popular aircraft,” said to MBN Luis Lizcano, Director General of FEMIA.
More than two years later, the 737 Max has been re-certified by most countries around the world, gradually reactivating Boeing’s supply chain and generating opportunities for Mexican suppliers.
Helicopter Market, a Different Story
Not every sector in the aerospace industry has been affected negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic. The helicopter segment, unlike the fixed-wing aircraft market, registered record levels in 2020, said during Adolfo Viramontes, General Manager of Bell México. “The helicopter market is different. In 2020, we had record levels in our volumes. We have had a stable demand this year and so we expect it for the next five years. Our market is better positioned than what we anticipated between 2014 and 2016. We have not seen a significant drop like the one in the fixed-wing market,” he said.
“The helicopter market is a special niche and some of our products are in high demand, like air ambulances, law enforcement helicopters and others. In the commercial segment, Bell is focusing on the development of the Bell Nexus, the Bell air taxi that is going to change the way passengers fly,” explained Viramontes to MBN.