TACA Peru to launch two more domestic routes

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TACA Peru has unveiled plans to launch two more domestic routes as part of the second phase of its new domestic expansion project.

The Avianca-TACA subsidiary announced on 8 March it will begin services from Lima to Chiclayo and Piura from 9 May. Chiclayo will initially be served with one daily Embraer E-190 flight while Piura will initially be served with two daily E-190 flights.

Chiclayo and Piura will be TACA Peru's fifth and sixth domestic destinations.

Until last month TACA Peru was predominately an international operator and only served one domestic route - Lima-Cuzco. But last month it launched services from Lima to Trujillo, Tarapoto and Juliaca after taking delivery of its first Embraer E-190.

TACA Peru now says it is adding a second daily flight to Trujilo in response to high demand for its initial single frequency on the route. Earlier this year the carrier already added a third daily frequency to Cuzco.

ATI reported last month that TACA Peru was planning to launch additional domestic routes, including potentially Chiclayo, this summer as part of a second phase of a domestic expansion project.

With the new flights TACA Peru says it is expanding total domestic capacity by 50%. After the new flights launch in May, TACA Peru says it will have a total of 77 weekly domestic flights, including 21 to Cuzco, 14 to Tarapoto, Trujillo and Piura and seven to Juliaca and Chiclayo.

The carrier says it aims to capture a 15% share of the Peruvian domestic market by the end of this year. Based on Peruvian DGAC data, TACA Peru last year only had a 3% share of the domestic market. Market leader LAN Peru ended 2010 with a 70% share, followed by Star Peru with 12% and Peruvian Airlines with 11%.

All four Peruvian carriers now compete on Lima-Cuzco, which is by far Peru's largest domestic route. Only LAN and Peruvian Airlines currently serve Piura while only LAN and Star now serve Chiclayo. TACA is already competing against both LAN and Star Peru in the Tarapoto, Juliaca and Trujillo markets.

According to Flightglobal's ACAS database, TACA Peru currently operates three A319s, one A320 and one E-190. The A320s are primarily being used on international routes while the E-190 only operates in domestic markets.