November 2, 2018 / 2:58 PM / 10 months ago

Low-cost Viva Air looks to expand to 3d South American country in 2020

BOGOTA, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Low-cost airline Viva Air, which operates in Colombia and Peru, is looking to expand its operations to a third country in 2020, its chief executive officer said late on Thursday.

The airline, owned by Irelandia Aviation LLC of Dublin , is spending $5.2 billion to buy 50 Airbus planes which it hopes will help make it the top low-cost carrier in Latin America, chief executive Felix Antelo said at an event in Bogota. It has already obtained seven of those planes.

“Our bases are Colombia and Peru. We’re looking at a third country that we can’t name. In 2019 consolidating Colombia and Peru will be the focus and from 2020 onward we could see a third country,” Antelo said.

Viva Air operates 32 routes in Colombia, Peru and to destinations including Miami with 19 planes and 800 employees.

It will have served 4 million passengers in Colombia and 900,000 in Peru by the end of the year, Antelo said, adding fares within Colombia can be as low as $10 including taxes.

Irelandia Aviation’s low-cost carriers - including Europe’s Ryanair, Asia’s Tiger Airways, Allegiant in the United States and Mexico’s VivaAerobus, have transported more than a billion people. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by David Gregorio)

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