Will LABACE 2017 Herald Recovery in 2018?

The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) will take place in São Paulo, Brazil, from August 15 to 17. Organized by 3H on behalf of the Brazilian Business Aviation Association (ABAG, Associacão Brasileira de Aviação Geral), the event will be staged again at Congonhas Airport in the south of the city, the main access point for business aviation (although helicopters tend to use Campo de Marte, a stone’s throw north of the city’s financial district). Unlike other business aviation shows such as EBACE and ABACE, the U.S. NBAA is no longer involved in LABACE.

Rogério Sautner of 3H told AIN that he expects 45 aircraft in this year’s static display “despite the [economic] crisis,” and 130 exhibitors had booked as of early July (there were 135 at last year’s event). Sautner said he anticipates more visitors than last year mainly because the economy is broadly expected to heat up in this year’s second half.

Leonardo Fiuza, president of TAM Avição Executiva, who took over as chairman of ABAG last year from former Helibras chairman Eduardo Marson, said “LABACE is the most important event of the year for Brazilian business aviation.”

The economic backdrop is of a weak currency and few new aircraft sales of late, and many aircraft owners have taken advantage of the strong U.S. dollar to sell their aircraft into the U.S. market. Helicopters have suffered in particular despite São Paulo having the largest and most active helicopter fleet of any city in the world. The political situation has also been uncertain, with President Temer taking over from President Rousseff following her impeachment in April last year. A series of corruption scandals, the most prominent being Petrobras, led to “Operation Carwash” and has severely dented the country’s once booming economy. However, many are optimistic for a recovery next year.

AIN will be publishing two print issues of LABACE Convention News at the site and publishing news as it happens on www.ainonline.com.

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