Chilean aviation hopes for solid air passenger growth under a new President and as JetSMART arrives

Premium Analysis

The big story for Chilean aviation in 2017 was the debut of JetSMART, a Latin American ULCC owned by Indigo Partners, a firm which specialises in launching and owning airlines using the ultra low cost business model.

JetSMART has turned a solid performance since its debut in 2H20107, transporting more than 200,000 passengers in the Jul-Nov-2017 period. JetSMART launched its first international service in early 2018, following through on previously disclosed plans to inaugurate flights from Santiago to Lima.

Chile’s system ASKs grew at a healthy 11% rate in 2017, and the country’s passenger growth was stable. The latest available data show passenger growth of nearly 11% for the 11M ending in Nov-2017.

Political winds are shifting in Chile during 2018, after conservative Sebastián Piñera was elected President in late 2017. Mr Piñera supports a pro-business agenda, which could bode well for the country’s airlines; however, middle class stability is key for Chile’s continued air passenger growth.

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