Air Transport World

A niche player spreads its wings: Aeroman pushes low labor costs, free trade zone status and central location as it reaches out to compete for maintenance contracts in Latin America and the US. (M & E).

For proactive people in the business world, crisis also can mean opportunity. Down the dark corridors of difficult times lie discreetly illuminated gateways to success. This is the view of executives at FAA- and JAA-certified Aeroman, Grupo TACA's maintenance and engineering company.

Pressed by a slowdown in business in Central America last year, Aeroman expanded its scope to include South America, the Caribbean, the US and Mexico, the latter despite the solid presence of AeroMexico and Mexicana. The strategic bet in Mexico is that there is room to serve new carriers like Allegro, which is a client at Aeroman.

When Aeroman was created by parent company TACA International Airlines in 1983 and a single-bay hangar was built, the only focus was the airline. Six years later when the Grupo TACA concept took wings, the decision was made to concentrate maintenance services for all carriers within the alliance at a single base. Naturally Aeroman was chosen. By 1994, expansion requited a new four-bay hangar. As it became operational in early 1997, estimates showed 70% of the capacity would be employed for the Grupo TACA fleet. The remainder would be used for third-party services. …

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