More aircraft maintenance jobs move to El Salvador

Southwest Airlines will have maintenance on some of its flight performed in El Salvador according to Dallas area news reports:
Many U.S. airlines already outsource maintenance to foreign countries. The company Southwest will use in El Salvador, Aeroman, has already performed heavy maintenance work for other major U.S. Airlines.

But, unions and consumer groups have objected to outsourcing, questioning the safety and oversight of work performed outside of the U.S., where mechanics are paid less than their American counterparts.

Last year, BusinessWeek reported that mechanics at Aeroman make between $4,500 and $15,000 a year, while U.S. airplane mechanics earn an average of $52,000 a year.

Southwest said it's confident that its new foreign maintenance provider is well qualified for the job. "They pass all or our really stringent tests for safety. They have a great track record," Flanagan said.

The union that represents Southwest's mechanics previously agreed to allow a limited amount of work to be outsourced to a foreign company last year, in a new contract with the airline.

Read more about Aeroman's success in getting aircraft maintenance work from the US airlines in my blog post here.


Anonymous said…
This is a significant development in the airlines industry. Safety should be the number one concern, and outsourcing maintenance of a fleet of planes should be done only with the certification of an overseeing board that would guarantee the competence of mechanics. Thank God I don't travel by air because the danger our incompetent workmanship become obvious when you compare salaries between demonstrated competence and the third world "who knows."
Anonymous said…
Esto es temerario!
Anonymous said…
"outsourcing maintenance of a fleet of planes should be done only with the certification of an overseeing board that would guarantee the competence of mechanics". That sounds like a job for the FAA. Oh wait the FAA and other governments' agencies already certify Aeroman, U.S. based, and non U.S. based aircraft maintenance providers, you idiot. Thousands of people that could potentially end up sitting next to you on an airplane are also thankful you don't travel by air.
Anonymous said…
Aeroman is certificated by FAA and EASA.

Safety, indeed, should be concern number one... but it is irresponsable to make statements of a company's capability just because it is not a US company.

It would not be either responsible to say that Southwest got fined just because it is a US company. Or to say Airfrance accident happended just because it is a french company. Both maintenance were performed by $50,000 mechanics
It seems like salary is not the only driver
Anonymous said…
To the previous post.

The reality is, that once you have created your reputation, you can sit back on your laurels. The money you make are receive as salary is only the scorecard. You receive what you're worth.

So, you see, what someone is willing to pay you, and you accept to be payed, is a good benchmark as you your qualifications. That's why I mention salaries when dealing directly with public safety.

I think it's really scary that anyone seems to be qualified for the work we're dealing with here!
Anonymous said…
As was stated,

"Salary isn't the only driver"

Agreed, but it's a damned good benchmark wouldn't you say... Or why do you think there is a pay diference between an airline pilot and, ahh let's say... a baggage handler, or a chaufer.

Or between what a pilot of a small airlines makes vs what one makes who works for a major airlines. But enough examples, right.
Anonymous said…
It's a threat to travelers that dishonest and incompetent mechanics would be expected to maintain these aircraft. I'd gladly pay a little more in air fare and know that the plane is in good mechanica order.

I want to know the names of the companies who care so little about passenger safety, so as to be sure not to ever fly with them.

This is a travesty!
Anonymous said…
These companies try to augment profits at the expense of maintenance and safety. Outsourcing only means that U.S. union jobs are switched to some foreign country where their are no regulations, shoddy workmanship, incompetence and no responsibility. Work ethics are non existant.
It should become law and passengers right, that airlines publish where their aircraft is being serviced and where they receive their regular and routine maintenance. It's a passengers rights to know.
I wouldn't trust the work of any mechanic who's not American and with the American work ethic.
Anonymous said…
This irresponsibility is a threat to the entire airline industry. We're not talking about reparing an ox cart or a leaky roof, or flying kits, we're talking here about high tech equipment, modern avioncis that most of these so called "mechanics" haven't ever seen before close-up.
Anonymous said…
Obviously SAFETY wasn't an issur.
Anonymous said…
How irresponsible! I hope that this will become a principle issue when planes start coming down and suits start going up.

I agree with the above post that airlines should be obligated to make public where their planes are services and maintained.
Anonymous said…
Just shows to go you that you can't trust anyone, not even the friendly skys.

This news is some real Bad!
Anonymous said…
wawaawaa, a bunch of cry babies. Some real stupid comparisons and logical fallacies in all of the above posts. All of you are dumber than the mechanics at Aeroman. Can all of you please list the companies you work for so that I know what companies to stay away from. There's more of a safety risk posed by your stupidity than by Aeroman's aircraft maintenance.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
To the above post that says:

"All of you are dumber than the mechanics at Aeroman"

You make my point exactly. That's what worries me; that idiots like you even agree with me that outsourcing these important maintenance jobs to a fourth rate county like Salvador is completely irresponsible.
Anonymous said…
I also agree with the above who are against this ridiculous stupidity.

Salvador has never manufactured anything and most likely never will. Where would Salvadorean mechanics develop the stills needed for high tech maintanance. This is crazy, the companies are putting their profits ahead of the safety of passengers.
Pitting highly qualified union mechanics with grease monkies who've never seen an airliner up close. This is indeed temerious for all passengers.
A country like Salvador has no regulations and no one cares for the rights of others. This definitely is not a place where quality jobs can be expected.
Anonymous said…
This is a result of globalism and a free market. Aeroman works with various other airlines around the world and has an excellent safety track record. You cannot let protectionist fears dictate your way of thinking. I also believe that Southwest and other airlines do due diligence when reaching a decision like this and are better informed on the matter of safety than any of us on this blog. Safety is a top concern. In regards to comments about how less pay indicates a lower quality/importance of work. That is true within a market (i.e. you can compare a Salvadoran doctor with a Salvadoran taxi driver and a U.S. doctor with a U.S. taxi driver) but not necessarily across markets. Luxembourg/ Finland/ Norway/ Ireland/ Denmark/ Switzerland all have a GDP per capita that is higher than the U.S.'s, but that does not mean that importance/quality of the workers in one of these countries is better than his/her counterpart in the U.S. I do see where the concerns are coming from but I do believe they are not about safety but more about not wanting job outsourced which is another matter onto itself. If they are about safety then consider if at anytimes in any of your travels around the world you have traveled on an airline based in a third world country. If not then there is surely someone you know who has. Millions of people from the U.S. travel to/within Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and other third world regions. Plus as has been mentioned above by someone, the FAA and EASA have both certified Aeroman. These are government authorities, they're not for-profit-businesses.
Anonymous said…
AEROMAN, which was established in 1983, is an FAA 145 certified maintenance, repair and overhaul facility providing airframe heavy maintenance services on Airbus and Boeing narrow body aircraft. AEROMAN is located at El Salvador International Airport . The facility is staffed with over 1500 people comprised of aviation technicians, engineers, support departments and administration.

Both facilities have approximately 294,541 square feet of hangar, back-shop, administration and storage space and can fully enclose 6 narrow body aircraft simultaneously. The AEROMAN team performs over 100 narrow body heavy maintenance visits annually for North American and Latin American Airlines.
Anonymous said…
Sounds impressive. Let's hope it is, and that the project proves it is qualified to work on maintenance of airliners because. The simple fact is, that the safety of passengers (the public) are the guinea pigs in all this.

As for me, I'll sit it out on the sidelines and fly only with companies I feel safe with.
Anonymous said…
Put an American trained aviation mechanic and a Salvadorean trained mechanic, and who would you fly and be more relaxed with.
Now if you'd put a cook of "gallo con chicha" that is American trained chef vs a Salvadorean, I do not doubt for a second that the Salvadorean would make a tastier dish. But that's a far cry from technical work where people's lives are at stake.
The U.S. is an industrialized nation and has been for the past century, on the other hand, Salvador only exports people and imports even basic food stuffs. Big difference, don't you think...
Anonymous said…
I'd be more trusting if the maintenance were outsouced to a country like India that has proven itself to be a highly motivated and efficient work force.
When we think "Salvadorean" we think gangs, border hoppers, law breakers, low morals and inherent thieves. That's the reputation they have made for themselves, why would I trust my life to their hands. I may be crazy, but I sure ain't dumb.
Anonymous said…
Dittos to the above.

And a little tid bit news report coming out of Salvador, the world murder capital:

Gangs in San Miguel, the second city in that country, have treatened police to leave them alone or they will assassinate a calcinate another innocent victim every 13-hours.

Reports have it that the infamous "Mara Salvatrucha" has already followed up on their treat by buring and calcinating 4 hapless clients.

This is what that country is best known for, not as professional mechanics that the world can rely on. If you want a tatooed killer, Salvador is the place to go.
Anonymous said…
I agree, and can there be a doubt.

Low paid, low quality, low professional mechanics giving maintenance to airlines can in no way be compared to highly paid and qualitied, professionals responsible for the maintenance of aircraft used by the public.

I don't think there is anyone in Salvbador capable of repairing my electric tooth brush.
Anonymous said…
"AEROMAN, which was established in 1983, is an FAA 145 certified maintenance, repair and overhaul facility providing airframe heavy maintenance services on Airbus and Boeing narrow body aircraft. AEROMAN is located at El Salvador International Airport . The facility is staffed with over 1500 people comprised of aviation technicians, engineers, support departments and administration."

Sounds good, real good, but how many Salvadoreans? Yeah, how many Salvadoreans in position of responsibility. I'm not talking about sweeping hanger floors either, or hand washing nuts and bolts in a can a thinner or kerosine.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
If the FAA certifies Aeroman than safety is not a concern for me. What concerns me is that these are yet more high paying quality jobs that are outsourced to a country with lower wages. And it's all being done for the sake of shareholders. What ever happened to Dick Gephardt?
Anonymous said…
Who cares about Dick, what I'm interested in are my stock dividends. I'm looking for a small company with good earnings potential. But who isn't.
Besides, I don't use airlines for my transportation so I really could care less about their maintenance arraingements
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Good for the Post Administrator,

We don't want propaganda for any grease monkey ARMCO airplane maintenance fly by night compnay.

Take them all out!
Anonymous said…
Tim, being a capitalist I don't understand why would airline companies have to get the consent of any union. If we had eliminated unions years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in the US. I would say the hell with unions and their concessions and get rid them. They are not there to make money, but to represent the laborer and thus so far have done a lousy job at it. Look at what ended up happening to GM, all that proves my point that unions are nothing more than corrupted organizations sucking the life out of companies and ultimately loosing the country thousands of jobs.
Anonymous said…
Too.all a license faa aircraft since 1990. Worked many companies.and currently resident in. south america. .as a American a faa.mech. .solid background in. Aviation .americsn. United.spirit.fed people need to understand tge culture in South America. Poverty.and corruption is part of the culture..
So if a place is aproved by FAA.and EASA. And local Aviation authority...less be real. They can be buy off on. Contrats and maintance..

So having a FAA cert repair station..or EASA..IS..JUST A CERT IN. THE WALL.