MIAMI — Chile’s second-largest low-cost carrier has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 10 A321XLR aircraft, which will join its current fleet of 23 aircraft, comprised of 14 A320neos and nine A219ceos.
Launched in December 2001, SKY has grown from a humble carrier, operating a handful of flights between its hub in Santiago and Northern Chile, to becoming one of the region’s most prominent airlines.
The carrier operated a modest fleet of 23 Boeing 737-200/300s, all of which were phased out in 2013. SKY then became Chile’s first all-Airbus carrier.
SKY operates its ultra-low-cost model on domestic and international routes, mostly to neighboring Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay.
According to the carrier, the new A321XLRs will be deployed on routes to Easter Island, which is currently only served by the country’s flag carrier, LATAM Airlines, with wide-body airliners.
“This new aircraft fleet will allow us to expand our offer of international and wide-ranging routes, always under our successful low-cost model and its extremely convenient ticket prices,” said Holger Paulmann, CEO of SKY.
Currently, SKY flies from its hub in Santiago to 14 domestic destinations, as well as to Buenos Aires and Mendoza in Argentina; Florianopolis, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo in Brazil; Montevideo in Uruguay; and Lima in Peru.
Arturo Barreira, President of Airbus Latin America, also revealed that SKY plans to reach Miami with the new A321XLRs. “We are delighted that SKY has selected the A321XLR to further expand its fleet of all Airbus aircraft. The A321XLR will allow SKY to offer its customers new destinations, such as direct flights from Santiago in Chile to Miami in the U.S.,” he said.
In addition to the aircraft order, the Chilean carrier has agreed to be the launch customer for the all-new Airbus Chile Training Centre, which will offer training services for all pilots in the region. Airbus says that this new training facility will include a full-motion A320 simulator.