EMS Aviation aims to expand in South America

Aug. 15, 2011 at 2:08 PM
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SAO PAULO, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- EMS Aviation made its Latin American debut at the recent Latin American Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition and has made its known its plans to expand operations in the region, drawn by continuing growth in its defense and security markets and liquidity throughout most of its customer base.

EMS has built its global market by keeping pace with civil and defense aviation technological developments. Its presence last week at the Sao Paulo event indicated the company aims to enter an area increasingly dominated by European and Asian competitors.

U.S. President Barack Obama visited the region in March to kick-start U.S.-Latin American commercial and military relations, apparently sidelined through a decade of U.S. military and security preoccupations in the Middle East.

EMS is the latest U.S. company to show active interest in reviving strong business links with Latin America in the defense, security and technological sectors.

Following Obama's visit, the Boeing Co. intensified canvassing for regional support for its inventory, in particular its F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet. The aircraft is in competition with France's Rafale and Sweden's Gripen in a tender for a planned Brazilian refurbishment of its air force and navy, worth several billion dollars.

EMS is a major provider of wireless connectivity on land, at sea, in the air and in space. The company hopes to find new markets in Latin America for its satellite and terrestrial network products. EMS Aviation has operations in 12 countries and works with major U.S., Canadian and European aviation manufacturers.

The company is keen to push its Aspire family of satellite-based, in-flight connectivity systems, including the new Aspire Portable AirMail product, a portable Iridium-based e-mail product and a color touch screen handset.

EMS Aviation Vice President and General Manager John Jarrell indicated the company's potential strength lay in its product's "small installation foot-print, ease of upgrade and pricing structure."

The Aspire 200 LG system began shipping in North America in May and was introduced in Europe earlier this year. The system was chosen for a Cessna Sovereign for Anderson Air, a Canadian business jet operator.

Installations on other platforms, including the Hawker 4000, Hawker 800/850/900 Series, Citation X, Citation XLS/XLS+ and the Challenger 300, are expected in the coming months, said the company.

Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, has been attracting partnership offers from companies outside Latin America as it expands its product range. So far a mainly executive jet manufacturer, Embraer has announced plans to introduce larger passenger jets and enter into military aviation.

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