Saturday, September 13, 2008

El Salvador wins more airline maintenance work

I have written before about the sizable aircraft maintenance business in El Salvador. The leading company is Aeroman, which is 80% owned by ACTS, the aircraft maintenance arm of Air Canada. Formerly, Aeroman was owned by TACA, the Central American airline based in El Salvador. Operating out of El Salvador's international airport, Aeroman employs more than 1200 engineers and technicians.

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times published an article highlighting the growing trend of airlines outsourcing their maintenance work to Aeroman:

Aeroman performs a variety of maintenance tasks, including sprucing up cabins, upgrading electronic systems and performing the rigorous "nose-to-tail" checks required for all commercial aircraft by the FAA, typically every 12 to 18 months. The company serviced about 120 aircraft last year.

Located in a modern facility at El Salvador International Airport, about 30 miles south of the capital, San Salvador, Aeroman employs 1,300 workers.

Entry-level trainees earn about $350 a month. An experienced mechanic can make more than $1,000 a month plus $120 monthly in bonuses -- good pay in a nation where the minimum wage for service workers is about $175 a month. Benefits include free bus transportation to work and subsidized lunches. Ruiz said turnover is low.

All mechanics speak at least some English, the language in which they must complete all paperwork and documentation for the FAA and other regulators. They are subject to random drug and alcohol tests and annual criminal checks. They must agree to undergo a polygraph examination before being hired.

On a recent afternoon, perspiring workers in identical short-sleeved navy polo shirts swarmed the cabin of an Airbus jetliner that had new carpet, spotless seats and freshly painted overhead bins.

"It's interesting work," said Luis Barrera, a 35-year-old mechanic. "And it's a big responsibility."

Aeroman has a clean record with the FAA for the last two years, said Dorr, who added that it was as far back as he could access data quickly in response to a Times request.

He described the Salvadoran operation as "an absolutely first-class facility." Customers agree. Mitch Sine, a maintenance representative for JetBlue, was in El Salvador recently checking one of his company's planes. He said Aeroman beats U.S.-based maintenance contractors, not just on price but on performance and on-time delivery.

"I can't buy this kind of quality in the United States," he said. "These people really have pride in their work."

This week, Frontier Airlines, a US air carrier which is currently operating in bankruptcy, filed a motion asking the bankruptcy court to approve its decision to terminate a contract with the Teamsters union in the US and outsource heavy maintenance work to Aeroman. The Denver Post reported that this move would eliminate 130 union jobs in Colorado.

In a globalized economy, one country's job gains are another country's job losses.

14 comments:

inner-self said...

this is really great news. i'm happy for those 1200 plus people who work at aeroman. the wages are decent and the work itself should beat working at a maquila or agricultural plantation. these are the kind of wishes we have for el salvador. these are the kinds of jobs and opportunities we seek for our people. if we could only manage to have enough companies that pay like aeroman in el salvador, the economic picture for the population would be something else. that's why i favor funes to win the 2009 elections, to set things straight for entreprenours to really invest generously on this sagging, superficial, artificial salvadoran economy.

El-Visitador said...

I LOVE IT.

Please remember: AEROMAN operates in a zone relatively free of the Salvadorean government. This is one of the reasons why it is successful.

YES IT IS TRUE: because it operates inside the airport, in a "FREE TRADE ZONE", there is no IVA, there is no Customs, and paperwork with the San Salvadorean bureaucracy is streamlined and reduced, though, sadly, not eliminated.

Do you want more AEROMANs? More good jobs? Make all of El Salvador a free trade zone.


- * -


Sadly, I don't see Funes ever taking such a corageous, innovative step towards freedom and progress for all Salvadoreans.

inner-self said...

it sounds contradicting and a serious paradox...but yeah, i was contemplating making all of el salvador a free trade zone. well actually no, i had thought of gaining independence from el salvador for chalate, and then making chalate a micro-state, then making it a free trade zone, just like andorra. i don't know how things would turn out, perhaps not so good and i'm sure the people would not be very happy about it...but hey, so far we're free to dream and dreaming is still free.

Z. Aguilar said...

hi Tim, I have enjoyed reading your blog.

I have a question, my mother was born in El Salvador and someday I hope to visit the place of her birth.

I have a question, where are they getting all these English speaking workers?

Also, how safe is it to travel to El Salvador, I have heard so many horror stories.

thanks.

Z.

Larry said...

Yeah, I mean, like why would you need regulation of airline maintenance? I mean, it's not like there are any serious consequences if the company cuts corners and the job isn't done right.

Bureacratic interference such as "safety inspections" only add overhead and slows things down.

Jorge Somoza said...

"Sadly, I don't see Funes ever taking such a corageous, innovative step towards freedom and progress for all Salvadoreans".

There's no link between this post and the coming president Mauricio Funes, IDK how you manage to link things that are pretty unrelated.

Indeed Mauricio Funes is braver and smarter than any other candidate including EL PARAMILITAR CUILIO DUNDON since Mauricio is facing by himself all the attacks from TCHeces, la Perra y el Diablo dihoy... and also El Inmundo.

"freedom and progress for all Salvadoreans" these words mean nothing to the average salvadorean who is barely surviving los "hueviernos" de Cristiani, Cachetón Sol, Flores y Kasaca.

"Libertad" y "Progreso" are 2 empty words used by the ARENARCONAZIS to deceive people while elections, in the past 19 years we've only had exclusion and poverty.

If your trying to confuse people in this blog you won't make it since most of the readers in here are well-concious about salvadorean scenario nowadays: inmigration, poorness, maras, delincuence, change the currency to the $, violence, death squads operations against civils, persecution to social strugglers, unemployment, gold mines, LACK OF OPORTUNITIES... that rings a bell to you EL-VISITADOR?

However... either you like or not, Nace la esperanza y viene el cambio... and Mauricio Funes will be the coming president.

For further knowledge of the salvadorean day2day situation pls visit.

pijazo.blogspot.com

SalvaAlchemist said...

"I have a question, where are they getting all these English speaking workers?"

Umm they learn English. How do Americans learn Spanish? No to sound condescending but how naive is that statement.


As far as the jobs, the free trade zones do play a big part, but take into account the outsourcing for cheap labor is just as a big reason. This should be ES's model to jobs anyway, seeing a need in safe work in a growing industry. Especially one that demands to meet such criteria as the airline industry.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Aeroman! More jobs for the average salvadoreno, means less families go hungry and less children end up in street gangs, because they are in school. In the past three years, since I started watching this blog, El Salvador has taken giant leaps in many different ways. Politically, economically and within various communities, educationally. I love it! In 16 years, El Salvador has made more progress than Vietnam. I have been to HCMC, Vietnam, it still looks like it did back in 1975 for the most part. This progress speaks alot for the people of El Salvador. The words Hardworking, Pride and Perseverance(sp?) comes to mind. Even though Im an american, I'd jump for the chance to live in El Salvador.

mizzglitteryeyes@yahoo.com said...

To Jorge Zomoza:
Apparently, you don't know the meaning of the word "comment". Go back to an ESL class, you're in dire need of better grammar,better vocabulary and how to spell the words properly. A comment is a remark, an observation, an opinion. So, why do you slam el-visitador for merely expressing his opinion? It's uneducated, narrow minded idiots like you that the US is trying to eliminate. Since this is an english/spanish blog why would you refer someone to your spanish only blog? Especially if that person speaks only english? Who's the moron trying to confuse people now?

Jorge Somoza said...

"To Jorge Zomoza:
Apparently, you don't know the meaning of the word "comment". Go back to an ESL class, you're in dire need of better grammar,better vocabulary and how to spell the words properly. A comment is a remark, an observation, an opinion. So, why do you slam el-visitador for merely expressing his opinion? It's uneducated, narrow minded idiots like you that the US is trying to eliminate. Since this is an english/spanish blog why would you refer someone to your spanish only blog? Especially if that person speaks only english? Who's the moron trying to confuse people now?"

Firstable my nick is Jorge Somoza not Jorge "Zomoza" so I'm wondering who must go back to elementary school.

" ...narrow minded idiots like you that the US is trying to eliminate".

Who is insulting? Not me being honest, but the way you speak and mistreat others I can observe your unrespectful manners.

If you say wou want to eliminate idiots you can start by eliminating your own president and next you can continue with El-Visitador, who, by the way, has a lowly-visited-poor-content-spanish-blog and that's why I recommended him to visit El Trompudo, un blog chingón.

U.S. Govt tries to eliminate everybody, that's a fact, the point is they CANNOT, look at IRAQ, CUBA, and also look at Chávez.

Also, I couldn't find any purpose or core in your post, you came up just to deffend El-Visitador, if you're not the same person.

If your cleaver enough discuss the ideas, this one for example, if you got arguments repply to this: "85% of salvadoreans want a change in the coming election".

"People in El Salvador is starving because of the policies implemented by the ARENARCONAZIS policies in 19 years of "FREEDOM" and "PROGRESS".

"An estimated of 500-700 of salvadoreans are inmigrating daily because of the HUEVIERNO CON SENTIDO HUMANO".

Don't confuse, viene el cambio con Mauricio y Salvador, FMLN 2009.

El-Visitador said...

«Yeah, I mean, like why would you need regulation of airline maintenance?»

You must have missed this: "Mitch Sine, a maintenance representative for JetBlue, was in El Salvador recently checking one of his company's planes."

It is in any company's own self-interest to maintain its planes and supervise its mechanics. Companies that have crashes have a nasty tendency to go broke when their insurance rates spike up.

Government regulation is just a costly, bureaucratic sop to gullible voters. But bureaucrats love job security, so it is good for them!


- * -


And do you really believe any AEROMAN customers jobber in El Salvador because of the Salvadorean government's supervision of airline maintenance?

If so, I may have a bridge I'd like to talk to you about...

Frontier Technician said...

Unfortunate results from this action,

This week, Frontier Airlines, a US air carrier which is currently operating in bankruptcy, filed a motion asking the bankruptcy court to approve its decision to terminate a contract with the Teamsters union in the US and outsource heavy maintenance work to Aeroman. The Denver Post reported that this move would eliminate 130 union jobs in Colorado.

In a globalized economy, one country's job gains are another country's job losses


I will have to find another job
My family will have to move on to another house in a different city and relocate to a different school. This is a major issue to my family and me. But you are happy and that is all that matters to you.

You are robbing my job to better your self, but you are only riding on my coat tail. Why don’t you develop your own devices to support you and your country, without stealing our way of life?

The transferring of jobs out of the United States of America is not a pleasant situation for me. I find it very frustrating and I am powerless to deal with this matter, but I will remember, come this November 4, 2008, Election Day for a change!

There are a few issues pertaining to this situation, which includes the immediate reaction to the American economy, at a minimum of 130 workers being unemployed, due to the cheap labor issue.

Another item is the reliability and the safety of the maintenance and inspection tasks being signed off as complied with. Only time will show the long term effect of the maintenance being complied with at the Aeroman maintenance facility.

Thanks for taking away my way of life. Don’t expect me to feel happy for your good fortune, as it is only a matter of time before your government leaders find a way to embezzle your organization and send you back to the hills for another round of Gorilla warfare and you eliminate thousands of your fellow country men, woman, and children. The cycle of greed and hate continues on in this part of the world. The truth is in the history!

ripper7 said...

I am an American Aircraft Mechanic who also lost my job. There are thousands of us, who have lost our jobs....thanks to nafta. I am to old to go back to school to learn a new trade, so I am driving a bus at San Diego Airport. My famiy is now living in poverty..and we do not know what to do.

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