Chile's second-largest carrier, Sky Airline, is in the process of raising its capital by $25 million to improve its liquidity and start renewing its fleet of 14 Boeing 737-200s.

A company source confirms that the airline has "started to talk to Airbus, Boeing and lessors" about the availability of aircraft whose delivery should "start next year".

Three of Sky's aircraft are parked. The source concedes that "newer, second-hand aircraft might be a good option" to avoid "high capital costs in a market with sub-optimal aircraft utilisation and decreasing yields".

Part of the need to renew the fleet follows a strategic decision to increase Sky's presence in international markets, which will allow the airline to grow, but also to optimise its network and fleet usage. No final decision has yet been taken.

The capital increase will be financed privately by the current shareholders, mainly German-Chilean entrepreneur Jurgen Paulmann who owns close to 95% of the airline.

Sky benefited from the market withdrawal of Air Comet Chile late last year, achieving a domestic market share this year of 20% despit the dominance of Oneworld's LAN.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news