BusinessWeek's April 21, 2008 Issue: The New E-spionage Threat

NEW YORK, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- THIS WEEK: * Cover Story: The New E-spionage Threat * The Spending Mirage * Bailing Out of Bear * You've Been Pre-Rejected For these stories and more, visit www.BusinessWeek.com...


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FLYING IN FOR A TUNE-UP OVERSEAS

By Geri Smith and Justin Bachman

Hangar No.1 at San Salvador's airport is hopping. Technicians employed by jet maintenance contractor Aeroman swarm over Airbus planes belonging to JetBlue, US Airways, and Ukraine's Donbassaero, checking electrical systems, replacing carpets, and examining engines and flaps for corrosion or defects. Outside, jets from US Airways and Air Tanzania wait their turn. Why the rush to this tiny Central American country? Starting pay at Aeroman in El Salvador is around $4,500 a year, while veterans take home perhaps $15,000. In the U.S., airplane mechanics earn an average of $52,000 annually. These days, Aeroman and companies like it have plenty of customers. As airlines scramble to cut costs, outsourced repair shops -- both in the U.S. and abroad -- now handle two-thirds of all maintenance for American carriers, the U.S. Transportation Dept. says, up from 30% in 1997. Airline maintenance has become a $42 billion-a-year business, with countries such as Singapore , China , Korea, and Dubai making enormous investments to attract such work. While there's some concern about the 4,181 maintenance operations in the U.S., the bigger worry is over the 700-plus foreign shops overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration. http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/apr2008/db2008049_205948.h tm?campaign_id=pr_newswire

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SOURCE BusinessWeek