San Salvador-based startup VECA Airlines plans to launch operations with three leased Airbus A319s in July or August, after completing its local certification process.

The carrier is in the process of obtaining US Federal Aviation Administration approval to operate the A319s as US-registered aircraft, says its chief executive Edgar Hasbun.

Hasbun says that the airline will initially operate single-class flights from its San Salvador base to Guatemala City, Managua, San Jose, Tegucicalpa and San Pedro Sula under a low cost airline model.

The airline has reportedly received a $14 million investment from energy company Alba Petroleos, part-owned and financed by the Venezuelan government, although Hasbun has rejected any claims of political intentions and influences behind the investment. "For us, they are just like a bank", he says.

Local governments in Central America have repeatedly complained about high fares charged by dominant airlines Avianca and Copa Airlines, a situation which VECA hopes to change.

Source: Cirium Dashboard