Peru, Chile and Colombia recorded the largest domestic aviation growth among the large South American countries in 2013.
Peru’s domestic passengers levels increased 15% to 8.3 million, according to Peruvian CAA data.
Colombia also recorded 14% domestic growth to nearly 22 million passengers. Argentina posted 12% domestic growth in 2013 to roughly 12.5 million passengers fuelled by a domestic push by state-owned flag carrier Aerolineas Argentinas.
A major similarity between Chile and Peru is that on paper both countries seem ripe for LCC penetration given that each country is dominated by one full-service carrier.
According to Centreforaviation.com, LAN Peru held a 64% market share in Peru’s domestic space in 2013 followed by TACA Peru (now rebranded as Avianca) with a 14% share.
It is a high-stakes gamble to compete with LAN in markets where it is the dominant carrier, which is likely why the low-cost model is absent from Chile and Peru with no visible signs of a low-cost entrant emerging any time in the near future.
At one point the Viva Group has considered the Chilean market for a third Viva franchise after establishing carriers in Mexico and Colombia. But Viva is now focusing on Peru and Central America.
The Viva Group has yet to crystallise its plans for a potential new Peruvian low-cost carrier; but VivaColombia plans to launch new international destinations in 2014 including service from Bogota to Lima where it will compete with Avianca (both legacy Avianca and TACA Peru, which is also now braded Avianca) and LAN.
Perhaps the Viva Group is waiting to examine the performance of injecting low-cost competition on that route before a full-scale move into Peru’s domestic market.