Earlier this week, the Chilean ultra-low-cost carrier JetSMART received its 19th aircraft, an Airbus A320neo. This plane represents one step further on the big growth plans by the South American airline.
According to Airbus Orders & Deliveries database, JetSMART still has to receive 48 Airbus A320neo aircraft, as well as 19 A321neo (including 12 XLR units). The airline currently has a fleet of 18 aircraft, all of them of the Airbus A320 family.
The Chilean low-cost currently operates ten Airbus A320ceo’s and seven A320neo’s in Chile, plus four A320ceo’s in Argentina.
JetSMART is a low-cost carrier currently growing strong in South America. The airline aims to grow aggressively in the next few years, gaining market share on LATAM Airlines Group.
By 2029, JetSMART projects to have a fleet of up to 100 aircraft, according to a statement by the carrier.
Estuardo Ortiz, JetSMART’s CEO, said,
“Our plans for Chile and the continent remain strong, as demonstrated by the arrival of our new plane, which will allow us to keep on growing and becoming the ultra-low-cost carrier leader in the continent. The A320neo brings lower costs for our clients throughout South America, because this plane saves up to 20% in fuel and allow us to fly more routes and open up new markets in the near future.”
The American Airlines alliance
On July 29, American Airlines and JetSMART signed a letter of intent on a new partnership. Both airlines have plans to create “the broadest and most rewarding network in the Americas.” The US carrier also announced an undisclosed investment in the ULCC.
After that, American Airlines also announced a similar deal with GOL Linhas Aereas, investing up to US$200 million.
The alliance with American Airlines “would accelerate JetSMART’s path to becoming the leading South American low-cost carrier while expanding service for American’s customers,” said Ortiz. It would also give JetSMART the ability to grow aggressively and profitably across Latin America as demand recovers.
American Airlines operates to seventeen South American destinations in nine countries, while JetSMART operates to 33 destinations in Chile and Argentina. This is the proposed route map of the codeshare agreement between both carriers:
How’s JetSMART current connectivity?
JetSMART operates a modern fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft and offers short-haul domestic and international service to 33 destinations throughout South America.
So far, JetSMART has carried 47,277 international passengers, according to Chile’s civil aviation authorities. That number is an 80.6% decrease compared to 2019, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Domestically, the airline has carried 837,219 passengers, a 44.2% decrease compared to its pre-pandemic levels.
Compared with LATAM and Sky Airline, JetSMART has had the best domestic recovery. LATAM has carried 52.2% fewer passengers than in 2019, and Sky is 59.5% below its pre-pandemic numbers.
JetSMART is offering 2,600 flights in October 2021, both in Chile and Argentina, according to Cirium. That number is a 26.8% increase in compared to its pre-pandemic levels.
JetSMART’s main route in Chile connects Santiago de Chile with Antofagasta, with 89 monthly flights. Meanwhile, in Argentina, the main route connects Buenos Aires and Bariloche with 80 flights this month.