South American ultra low-cost carrier JetSMART is marshalling its resources to negotiate and close a swift acquisition of Columbia’s Viva Air.
The airline highlighted its rapid growth in Latin America and the Caribbean with the backing of Indigo Partners, a shareholder in Frontier Airlines in the United States and Wizz Air in Europe.
According to Estuardo Ortiz, chief executive of JetSMART: “We believe that a transaction between JetSMART and Viva Air will allow us to maintain the ultra-low-cost model in Colombia and offer more routes at lower prices. We have a long-term vision to expand in South America and we are in a position to continue to invest in our growth. Our alternative will benefit users, strengthen free competition in the sector, and promote tourism and connectivity in the country.”
JetSMART already operates in Chile, Argentina, and Peru, and filed an application with Colombian authorities last year to develop a subsidiary there although this was put on hold until the scale of American Airlines’ entry into JetSMART’s capital was clarified.
If the Viva acquisition was successful, JetSMART would secure entry into one of the most competitive markets in the region and potentially with greater backing from the Colombian Civil Aeronautics Authority which had stopped Columbian flag carrier Avianca acquiring the carrier.