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ALTA: Sol closes in on new turboprops

Argentinian regional carrier Sol is close to acquiring new turboprops to complement its fleet of Saab 340s.

Its chief executive and president Horacio Gabriel Angeli says Sol hopes to close a deal for up to six turboprop aircraft in the next 60 to 90 days. Angeli declines to specify the aircraft type, citing ongoing negotiations, but he says Sol is looking at turboprops with a seating capacity of 50 to 70 passengers.

The airline had previously indicated it could order regional jets, but Angeli clarifies that the carrier plans to continue as a turboprop operator.

Sol launched a codeshare agreement with state-owned Aerolineas Argentinas in August, covering all Sol's flights. Sol operates to 18 destinations in Argentina and two in Uruguay. Its main role, says Angeli, is to provide regional feed to the Aerolineas network.

"We've been very happy [with the partnership]," he adds. "We are working to integrate our network with Aerolineas, and provide the best network for feeding parts of the country." The new turboprops will help Sol serve the higher-density regional routes, and allow it to launch new connections. Sol's Saab 340s are configured with 34 seats.

Sol, based in Rosario, launched operations seven years ago. Its codeshare with Aerolineas is its first partnership with a major carrier in the region.

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