Great article from the USA Today
U.S. airlines fly south for room to grow
By Dan Reed, USA TODAY
Latin America is getting hot.
After three years of cutbacks and losses, U.S. airlines are gearing up to capture the profits they expect from their fastest-growing international market.
Healthier economies in the USA and Latin America, and improved political and monetary stability in Latin America, are rekindling the aggressive growth in flying capacity that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Capacity in the U.S.-Latin American market — which includes Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean — has been down about 8% since 2000.
Airline planners say there's huge growth potential in Latin America, a 400 million-person market that is still in its economic infancy. Latin America trails only the mature U.S.-Europe market in passengers on U.S. carriers.
"It's where the action is," says Bob Booth, chairman of AvMan, a Miami consulting firm that specializes in the Latin American aviation market.
American Airlines alone plans to grow 10% in the region each year for the next five years. While the bulk of that growth will come from MIA, three other airports - DFW, FLL, and JFK - will likely feel the growth as well.