Aviation Commercial Aviation Peru 

[Perú] José Raúl Vargas, General Manager of SKY in Peru

  1. A few weeks ago 2 years of Sky Peru were celebrated, how was Sky Peru born?  

On April 8, SKY began domestic operations in Peru, marking the beginning of the company’s international expansion plan.  

We chose Peru because it was a market in which the industry had enormous potential, in which the number of flights per inhabitant was relatively low; it also had very stable and favorable economic projections for investment; and we weren’t wrong.

We started the sale in February 2019 with a fairly aggressive promotion (S/1 plus fees and taxes) and started flying in April to 7 domestic destinations. The reception of our low cost model was so good that we quickly became the second airline with more passengers nationwide, and today we fly to 12 destinations in Peru.

2-How is the situation today in Sky Peru?

We are making progress in our recovery. As second in the domestic market, we have a market share of 17%. In addition, we have already reactivated our 12 domestic destinations and have begun the operation of 2 new interregional routes, taking advantage of the stops we make between cities that have high demand for each other.

At the commercial level, we are making every effort to reactivate the market, keeping regular rates low and making quite aggressive promotions, we even partner with Promperú to contribute to the reactivation of local economies and tourism through a campaign.

All this, while we are expecting that conditions continue to improve to continue with our growth plans.

3- How can you define me how 2020 was?

As for everyone, 2020 was a very complex year for us, even more so when we were in a process of accelerated growth. We were seriously affected by the suspension of transport and the different measures such as targeted quarantines, application of discard tests, etc.

However, fortunately this year the situation has improved due to the reactivation of the industry, so we hope to gradually recover the demand in the domestic market and launch new domestic routes, as well as resume internationalization plans with flights from Lima.

4-How do you see the flow of passengers in 2021 and what expectations are there for growth compared to 2020?

The industry is slowly taking off. At the end of this year, we expect to transport 1.5 million passengers nationwide, double the passenger of 2020. We are taking this process patiently and developing several actions to stimulate demand, and we are excited to see that the numbers are improving and more and more people can travel quickly and safely.

5-What Projections are there for the Second Quarter of 2021?

We will continue to bet on the growth of SKY in Peru, and we believe that, thanks to our low cost model, we will be able to achieve our recovery more easily than the average number of companies in the sector.

At the domestic level, for the remainder of 2021, we plan to continue increasing frequencies and launch new national destinations. This is considering that the authorities will allow increases in airport capacity, improvements in flight hours and other measures in favour of the industry.  

In addition, to the route between Lima and Santiago, direct and low cost flights will be added in principle to destinations such as Florida and Buenos Aires, which we should reach before the end of the year.

We will also continue to increase aircraft to our fleet. By the end of the year, we should have 9 A320neo aircraft for domestic and international flights in Peru.

6- The international routes to Colombia and Mexico have been temporarily suspended, what has happened and what will happen to those routes

International transport has been most impacted by the coronavirus, due to border restrictions and closures, as well as the impact it has had on the economy. However, we are optimistic that the health and economic situation of the market will be regularized soon, so we hope to be able to resume our routes to Bogota from Santiago at the end of the year and to Cancun from Lima in the last quarter of 2021.

7- Recently it has been formally authorized to use the frequencies of the Ex Avianca Peru to Buenos Aires, what plans are there to start operations?

The Lima – Buenos Aires route has always been a very attractive for us for all the potential it has, both to take Peruvians to the south of the region, and to bring tourists in connection to our next international destinations in the north.

Following the announcement by the Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics on frequency distribution, we are waiting for management to continue in order to obtain the final permits from the DGAC and ANAC. Before the end of the year we should have already started the operation, with 4 weekly frequencies and low cost fares for direct flights.

8- Weeks ago it has been seen in Airbus A321 NEO, in France will it arrive in Peru or will it only go to Sky Chile?What routes?

As part of our strategic plan, this week we received our 17th A320neo in Santiago and are preparing to add the a321neo model to our fleet. With this, we will seek to continue expanding our presence in the region, with an even more modern and efficient fleet. All with a view to becoming the best low cost in South America. The arrival of this model will be in the course of this year and we are still defining the routes in which this aircraft will fly.

9- Due to the instability of the borders has changed the way of choosing the passenger regarding the destination?

Yes, in the face of changes in government regulations, domestic transport is now the dominant one and is gradually recovering. Locally, although our most popular destinations are still Cusco, Arequipa and Piura, due to the health situation, Iquitos has gained a lot of popularity, especially for the cargo business, so much so that today it is our fourth most important national destination.

10-Do you think the solution is that everyone is vaccinated to reactivate the airline industry?

While we are already seeing some signs of improvement in the industry, we anticipate that the recovery will be long-term.

The vaccination process will be important to increase demand, so we are hoping that, based on the projected times and the advances that are already being seen, the recovery will be gatille at the end of the year.

Other variables that are being seen in international markets are those aimed at encouraging passengers to fly, such as rate reductions to accompany low fares on air tickets. We trust that the industry and our authorities will take these initiatives as an example to increase the competitiveness of tourism in Peru.

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