Chile's Sky Airline is on track to launch its new Peruvian subsidiary in the second quarter of 2019, with ambitions to set up affiliates in other Spanish-speaking countries.
"We are moving ahead, with a team of 15 very good people working on the AOC [air operator's certificate] in Peru," Sky chief executive Holger Paulmann tells FlightGlobal at the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Panama City. "We target for operations to begin in the second quarter of 2019."
Sky's Peruvian affiliate will operate a domestic network and launch international service within the first year, says Paulmann. He declines to name the specific destinations. Sky in Chile operates to a handful of international points in Argentina, Peru and Uruguay.
The Peruvian subsidiary, to be led by former LATAM Airlines executive Jose Raul Vargas, will launch with a fleet of three Airbus A320neos and grow to up to 15 aircraft by 2023, says Paulmann.
Sky, an all-A320 family operator, is in the midst of a fleet renewal as it swaps out older generation aircraft for A320neos. It operates three A320neos alongside 13 A319s and two A320s, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows. A fourth A320neo will arrive in the second week of November.
While plans for Peru are progressing, Paulmann says the airline is eyeing subsidiaries in other Spanish-speaking countries once its Peruvian affiliate "stabilises". Countries that Sky is studying include Colombia and Paraguay, he says. The airline is also interested in Argentina, but Paulmann acknowledges that challenging economic conditions and a flood of new low-cost players might not make Argentina the best territory to set up shop in right now.
"We want to enter Argentina, but not now. People are spending there less with the currency depreciation and the recession," says Paulmann.