Costa Rican regional airline NatureAir aims to secure the acquisition of larger turboprops within two months to enable it expand into low-cost operations.
The airline, which touts itself as a carbon-neutral operation, has a fleet of de Havilland Twin Otters and Cessna 208 Caravans.
"We are moving into the region as a low-cost carrier flying larger turboprops and in the middle of negotiations with lessors and others," says NatureAir chairman Alex Khajavi.
He says the airline is examining 30-seaters like the Saab 340B and Embraer Brasilia, as well as the 45-seat ATR 42. "We have not made that decision yet,” says Khajavi. “Ideal for us would probably be the ATR 42," he adds.
Khajavi says that as the world’s first carbon-neutral airline, the growth plans are "a bit of a challenge" as it needs to expand social offset programmes and that brings a cost factor. But he is hopeful that the service will begin by 15 April next year.
"We are considering a number of destinations across the region, the most important of which is Panama City," says Khajavi. "We are also looking at Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and San Salvador."