The General Directorate for Civil Aviation, Peru’s airline regulatory body, has issued formal permission for Viva Air’s Peru subsidiary, Latam, and Sky Airline to begin operating passenger flights between Lima Peru and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Latam already flies two weekly flights on the route, and now may operate six. Viva Air and Peruvian operator Sky Airline each may operate 4 flights per week. Chile-based Latam is a legacy carrier currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Also based in Chile, Sky Airline is the second largest operator in its home country and operates with a low-cost modality.
Colombian low-cost carrier Viva Air is in growth mode, and the permission fits with CEO Felix Antelo’s stated vision of connecting the Americas from his native Buenos Aires in the south to New York in the north via the airline’s suburban Medellín hub.
Did you know? Medellín, Colombia is closer to New York City than to Buenos Aires.
None of the airlines have made formal announcements regarding the routes, as the permission granted is merely the first step. The Lima – Buenos Aires route is one of the most important in South America, connecting the capitals of Peru and neighboring Argentina. A gap was created by the liquidation of Avianca Peru, and shutdown of Avianca Argentina. Latam also canceled flights to and from Argentina, and canceled orders for additional aircraft.
Viva Air is in the process of taking delivery on an order of 50 new Airbus A320 and A320neo aircraft, giving them the capacity to fly longer routes such as Buenos Aires – Lima and even Buenos Aires – Medellín with the A320neo’s 6,300km range. The airline has made no announcement regarding the new routes, but a knowledgeable source estimated that flights would start between the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022, as additional regulatory approvals and logistical considerations are necessary.