Colombian airline Aires is to begin operations under the new name of LAN Colombia at the end of 2011, announced the general director of parent company LAN Chile.
Director Ignacio Cueto gave an interview to Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, in which he said that the Colombian subsidiary of his company will go into operation later this year, Caracol Radio reported Monday.
The new airline was due to go into operation earlier this year but was postponed due to a delay in obtaining the security certificate from the International Air Transport Association, IATA.
Aires is the second biggest airline in the domestic market, with 22% of market shares, a fleet of 24 aircraft and routes to 27 Colombian and three international destinations.
Cueto also announced a plan to invest $4.6 billion in the airline between 2011 and 2014, in order to refurbish and increase the fleet of aircraft. “We always like to have a relevant size to be able to have good service,” he said.
LAN, which is headquartered in Santiago, the capital of Chile, flies to 70 destinations around the world in association with other carriers and operates in the South American countries of Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.
Executive director of Aires, Hernan Pasman, said in early May that $20 million has already been invested in the company since it was taken over by LAN at the start of the year.