Chile's PAL drops Arica

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Chile's third largest airline PAL Airlines has dropped Arica from its network of destinations as it prepares the launch of new domestic and international routes.

From March 2012, PAL Airlines will no longer serve Arica, Chile's northernmost city. The city had been part of the airline's "north corridor" strategy, under which it connected all major cities north of Santiago with the capital and among themselves.

A PAL source said that Arica was dropped from the southern hemisphere summer schedule as the airline prepares to "expand the network and renew the fleet".

PAL had announced previously plans to launch a "south corridor" network, with flights from Iquique to Lima, and to replace its three remaining Boeing 737-200s with newer -300 models.

PAL Airlines was founded in 2009 and has positioned itself with a hybrid charter-scheduled business model, and has closely allied itself with local travel agencies.