Colombian regional airline Easyfly plans to decide on a possible replacement for its fleet of 13 Jetstream 41 turboprops "in the near future".
The carrier is considering large turboprops to replace the 30-seaters, says Easyfly president Alfonso Avila.
He says that he is considering "larger turboprops" in order to continue growing in the "point-to-point" market, differentiating his airline from hub-centric. Avianca already is replacing an ageing Fokker 50 fleet with up to 30 ATR 72-600s, boosting the regional capacity of Colombia's dominant carrier.
While Avila does not give further hints about his preferences, he confirms that he has also held "discussions with ATR" and that the renewal process should start already next year.
Another company source says that "Easyfly will probably not go beyond 50 seaters at this time".
Easyfly has pioneered a low-fare regional airline concept in Colombia's fast growing domestic market, which has allowed the airline to more than triple its original fleet of four J41s since its launch nearly six years ago.
It serves currently 15 destinations in the northern half of the Andean country, where most business destinations are located. In 2012, it carried 633,000 passengers, nearly 19% more than in 2011.
However, competitive pressures on Easyfly are growing, as the launch of low-cost carrier VivaColombia and Avianca's significant regional expansion encroach on major routes.