Chile's Sky looks at leasing A319s or 737-700s

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Chile's second largest carrier, Sky Airline, is evaluating the Airbus A319 and Boeing 737-700 to complement its fleet of 10 Boeing 737-200s.

ATI reported in August that Sky had begun talking to Airbus, Boeing and leasing companies about the availability of new aircraft for 2010. Sky director Holger Paulmann told ATI during the ALTA 2009 Airline Leaders Forum that the carrier was specifically looking at leasing A319s or 737-700s.

He says the new aircraft type, which would likely be leased second-hand, will initially be used on Sky's international routes and "complement" the carrier's 737-200s.

Sky currently only serves two international destinations - Iquique in Peru and La Paz in Bolivia. But Paulmann says it is looking at launching services to Lima in Peru as well as cities in Argentina and Brazil.

Paulmann declined to say when Sky planned to make a decision on a new aircraft type or how many it would initially lease. But he acknowledged whichever aircraft type is selected will have the advantage when Sky is ready to acquire replacements for its 10 737-200s.

Paulmman says Sky now plans to begin replacing its 737-200s in two to three years.