This week’s news out of Latin America has been dominated by announcements of new flights to both Central and South America, a sign that neither region is slowing down for the holidays.
When destinations such as Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile and others began oozing with momentum a few years ago, it was one airline – LAN Airlines – that was dominating the headlines with new-flight announcements.
Although LAN has remained aggressive in adding additional flights – many within Latin America – it has now found that is has some company in 2011.
Avianca Airlines and Taca Airlines, which were relatively quiet for the most part of 2010, broke back onto the Latin America scene in a big way this year. In fact, Avianca Arilines, Taca Airlines and their subsidiaries transported a total of 17,032,526 passengers on their network of national and international routes and announced this week a game changing code share agreement with Sky Airline.
AviancaTaca CEO Fabio Villegas Ramírez, AviancaTaca Vice President of Operations Estuardo Ortiz and Sky Airline CEO Jürgen Paulmann, signed the alliance with the Central American company. They also announced that the respective Sky agreement with Avianca will be signed in the first quarter of 2012.
Through this agreement, which came into effect on October 24, Taca Airlines passengers can fly to destinations in Chile served by Sky Airline. Sky travelers can also fly to destinations served by Taca Peru.
The codeshare agreement allows a significant increase in the number of domestic destinations in Chile for Taca passengers, and within Peru for Sky Airline passengers. It also increases the number of frequencies between Peru and Chile, strengthening the presence of the airlines in two important markets in the region.
And LAN seems to trucking along just fine, announcing this week that LAN Ecuador reached a new milestone in the history of Ecuador’s aviation by starting new service to the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos. The airline will run two weekly flights to this new destination from Quito/Guayaquil.
Meanwhile, Emirates announced this week that it will offer flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina, beginning January 3. The flight will help to promote growing interest among Asian capital investors in Argentine industries such as mining, oil and gas production and textiles. Emirates’ Buenos Aires flight will be a linked service with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil meaning that customers in South America can now travel between the two cities.