JetSMART Airbus A320

South American low-cost JetSmart expands fleet and becomes a concern for traditional carriers

Chile’s ultra-low-cost airline reaches 49 Airbus A320 family aircraft with the addition of two more jets

JetSmart, an ultra-low-cost airline created in Chile in 2016, announced the arrival of two more Airbus A320neo jets to its fleet.

With the new aircraft, the carrier now has 37 jets in service, including 11 A320ceo, 18 A320neo and eight A321neo. In addition, the group has two subsidiaries, in Argentina, with eight A320ceo, and in Colombia, where it has just debuted.

JetSmart Colombia currently operates with four A320neo, however, it is expected to receive three other new jets between May and July.

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“We are committed to bringing our low-price proposition and new aircraft to major cities and regions that previously lacked air connections. We celebrate the continued support we receive from passengers, employees and partners, and look forward to continuing to elevate the travel experience for everyone. We are ready to take off for a more connected future”, said Estuardo Ortiz, CEO of JetSmart.

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Difficult market for low-cost

The Chilean airline is part of the Indigo Partners Group, which controls other low-cost carriers such as Frontier Airlines (USA), Lynx Air (Canada), Volaris (Mexico) and WizzAir (Hungary).

Operating in the “ultra low cost” market, however, is complex in South America, faced with bureaucratic issues and political changes.

Flybondi Boeing 737-800 (Flybondi)

In Argentina, for example, the last presidents went from the moderate right to the left and then to the extreme right. As a result, initiatives such as that of the airline Flybondi ended up paying the price for different political aspects.

The Argentine company survived, but had to postpone its growth plan and today has 15 Boeing 737-800 jets.

What are the other low-cost options in South America?

JetSmart’s closest competitor, also Chilean Sky Airline, has a fleet of 32 Airbus A320 and A321, all new generation. But the company has been on the market longer.

Colombia promised to be a cradle of low-cost airlines, but two of them succumbed, Ultra Air and Viva Air. Only Wingo remains, which has just nine Boeing 737-800s.

Wingo Boeing 737-800 (Luis Morales Torres/Pexels)

The largest commercial aviation market in South America, Brazil does not have low-cost airlines, despite the fact that Gol Linhas Aéreas and Azul Linhas Aéreas were founded with a simpler service and alternative routes.

However, both charge similar or higher prices than LATAM, the airline that has been in operation for longer.

Brazilian airlines, however, blame legislation and the high costs of airport fees, fuel, in addition to the devalued currency, for not offering more attractive prices.


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