Colombia Expansion: JetSMART Seeks To Take Other Airlines Shares

The Chilean low-cost carrier JetSMART is increasing its weekly flights to Colombia. According to a statement, the airline will go from six operations per week to nine between April and June on three different routes and nine on four different routes between July and December. Let’s investigate further.

JetSmart Airbus A320
JetSMART is increasing its market share between Chile and Colombia. Photo: Getty Images

JetSMART ambitious plans

JetSMART is a low-cost operator trying to expand in South America. The airline started operations in Chile but quickly grew to Argentina after Norwegian left the market in 2019.

Now, JetSMART is planning to launch domestic flights in Peru, aiming to enter a market that has great potential. Simultaneously, JetSMART is increasing its Airbus A320 family-based fleet. It currently has an order for 47 A320neo and 12 A321XLR. Earlier this year, the Chilean company received a duck liveried A320neo.

The airline is putting its chips in place for an aggressive expansion. JetSMART is following the steps of other low-cost carriers in Latin America like Azul and GOL in Brazil, Viva Air in Colombia or Viva Aerobus, and Volaris in Mexico. These operators are increasing their market shares and strengthening the low-cost model in the region, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Estuardo Ortiz, CEO of JetSMART, said that the carrier was interested in operating in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay. He added,

“We are planning to increase our expansion, using as a base the recovering market. We are in a good position to do it.”

JetSMART
JetSMART is a growing Chilean low-cost airline. Photo: Getty Images

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Where will JetSMART fly to?

Currently, JetSMART flies to two Colombian cities, Cali and Bogota, from two Chilean cities, Antofagasta and Santiago.

These are its current schedules, as reported by Flight Connections:

  1. Antofagasta-Cali, every Tuesday.
  2. Santiago-Bogota, two weekly flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays
  3. Santiago-Cali, three weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The airline is planning to expand its weekly services from six to nine flights between April and June. JetSMART is seizing the fact that the other Chilean low-cost, Sky Airline, has temporarily suspended its flights to Colombia, as reported by Aviacionline.com.

This is how JetSMART’s schedule to Colombia will look like starting next month:

  1. Antofagasta-Cali, one flight every Tuesday. Unchanged.
  2. Santiago-Bogota, four weekly flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
  3. Santiago-Cali, four weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Then, between July and December, the airline will add one more Colombian city to its map route. Nevertheless, it will maintain the same number of frequencies overall. This is how it will look:

  1. Antofagasta-Cali, two weekly flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays
  2. Santiago-Bogota, one weekly flight, on a date to be announced.
  3. Santiago-Cali, five weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  4. The new route: Santiago-Medellín, two weekly flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This route starts on July 7.
Bogota Airport
The Colombian aviation industry has had one of the best recoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Getty Images

Why the interest in Colombia?

Colombia is one of the hot markets in South America at the moment. It has had one of the best recoveries, despite being closed for five months.

Several airlines have shown their interest in increasing their Colombian market share. For example, LATAM said last week that it is already operating at 90% of its pre-COVID domestic capacity. Volaris and Viva Aerobus in Mexico are planning new routes between Mexico City and Cancun to Bogota and Medellin.

As reported by RoutesOnline.com, Estuardo Ortiz said about Colombia,

“Since we arrived in Colombia at the end of 2019, our commitment to increasing our market share and providing greater international connectivity to Colombians remains firm. Therefore, we are launching a route that directly connects Santiago with Medellín for the first time and increasing frequencies on our other routes to Colombia.”

What do you think of JetSMART’s plans in Colombia? Let us know in the comments.

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