The company’s headquarters, which includes an FBO, maintenance facility, and charter/management operation, are located at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, a few taxiways from the LABACE static display and exhibition. Fiuza is also chairman of ABAG, the Brazilian business aviation association, which hosts the annual Latin American Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition.
“There are new exhibitors this year,” he said, “and also international companies coming for the first time to decide if they’re going to exhibit next year.” About 30 new companies are exhibiting at LABACE 2018.
TAM is the Brazil representative for Textron Aviation, including Bell, and training provider FlightSafety International. At LABACE, the TAM display includes a Bell 505 and Textron Aviation’s newest and largest jet, the Citation Longitude, which is making its Brazil debut. Also on the static display are a Citation Latitude, CJ3+, and M2, a King Air 350i and C90GTx, a Grand Caravan, and a Beechcraft Baron. TAM has represented Cessna, Beechcraft, and Textron Aviation for 36 years, Bell for 15 years, and FlightSafety for 14 years. TAM also has FBOs in Belo Horizonte and Manuas, as well as extensive partnerships with other Brazil service providers.
“Our business it totally elated at how the economy is performing,” Fiuza said. Brazil is a large market for business aviation, and even when the economy was hurting, it remained an important market. And customers know that service providers like TAM are in for the long haul. “They know when the economy gets better, we’ll still be here,” he said. “Because of that, we have an attractive show.”
Fiuza commended the Congonhas Airport’s hospitality and creativity in helping the LABACE team design this year’s new static display, which encircles the exhibit buildings instead of being just a straight lineup of aircraft. Visitors can thus walk around the static display and see all of the 47 aircraft without having to double back. “We didn’t have the whole area [as was the case last year], so we had to be creative,” he said.
For TAM, its strongest segments are maintenance and aircraft sales, followed by FBO services. Agricultural customers are doing well and buying aircraft for regional transportation. And Fiuza and the TAM team are looking at new ways of doing business by benchmarking business aviation companies in the U.S. and Europe.
One of the products that TAM is considering offering is a new way for charter customers to book trips, for example, per-seat-type offerings that are all the rage in larger markets. “Our culture is more traditional,” he said, “and customers want full control of the aircraft. But it’s a change, and it will happen. We are watching and getting prepared.”
As ABAG chairman and leader of TAM, Fiuza is well aware of the “piracy” issue affecting Brazilian business aviation, where non-commercial or non-approved operators try to take business from legitimate charter and maintenance providers. “ANAC [Brazil’s regulator] is helping us a lot,” he said. “Unfair competition is a concern.”
FONTE: AINonline by Matt Thurber