Chile's PAL to add 737-300s, plans first international flight

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Chile's third largest airline PAL Airlines plans to lease three Boeing 737-300 aircraft as it charts ambitious network growth plans for 2012, including an international route connecting Iquique with Lima.

The aircraft will replace its older 737-200s. PAL plans to start flights in Chile's "Southern corridor" in April, said an airline spokesman. It will launch twice daily flights to Concepcion, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas in Chile's South.

PAL also plans to begin its first international flight from Santiago to Lima in the same month, with an intermediate stop in Iquique.

Currently, PAL only operates flights on the Chilean "North corridor", connecting Santiago with Copiapo, Antofagasta, Iquique, Calama and Arica.

In addition to its domestic flights, the airline also operates during the southern hemisphere summer period regular charter flights to destinations in the Caribbean, using an Airbus A330 aircraft, wet-leased from Spain's Orbest.