A region that still lacks air travel, South America is the scene of several attempts to launch new airlines.
Some of these ventures are quite solid, such as the Chilean companies Sky and JetSmart, but there are also disastrous initiatives such as the Brazilian company Itapemirim, which stopped flying less than six months after its debut in 2021.
The newest low cost airline to start services in the South American continent is Ultra Air, from Colombia. The company led by businessman William Shaw performed a commemorative flight on Friday, February 18, and should start commercial operation next Wednesday.
Based in the city of Medellin, Ultra Air has second-hand Airbus A320 jets and plans to have a fleet of five aircraft in the coming months. However, Shaw plans to reach 40 A320s in the future in addition to opening 36,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Ultra Air builds on the success of Viva Air, a carrier launched in 2012 by the same entrepreneur and which saw the Colombian air travel market jump from 12 million to 27 million passengers a year.
To start the project, the company will have to invest $30 million, in addition to having an incentive from the Colombian government as part of a “megainvestment” program that deducts the amounts paid for income tax.
Ultra Air’s ambition is to reduce the average airfare by 20% and pave the way for 50 million passengers to use air travel in their journeys in a few years. It will be another carrier to challenge the difficult business environment south of the Equator.