Latin American budget airline Viva Air said on Tuesday it was buying 50 new Airbus A320s for its operations in Colombia and Peru at a cost of $5.3 billion.
“These new airplanes will give us a saving of up to 15 per cent in fuel, 14 per cent in operating costs and and 5 per cent in maintenance costs,” William Shaw, chief executive of Viva Air subsidiaries VivaColombia and Air Viva Peru, said in a statement at the Paris Airshow.
Viva Air is part of Irelandia Aviation, the company led by Declan Ryan, son of Ryanair founder Tony Ryan. Irelandia Aviation started its foray into the Latin American budget airline market in Mexico in 2006 and Colombia in 2012. In May this year it expanded into Peru.
Until now, budget airlines have not really taken off in Latin America in the way they have in Europe and parts of Asia. It often costs five or six times as much to fly in the region as it does over a comparable distance in Europe.
Latin American cities boast few of the secondary airports where low-cost carriers thrive. And, with no EU-style single market, airline regulation can often be onerous.