Uruguayan Tourism Minister Tabaré Viera welcomed the return of budget carrier Sky Airlines to the country, connecting Montevideo's Carrasco International Airport with Santiago (Chile), Lima (Peru), Salvador, and Florianópolis (Brazil) with direct services, starting in 2024.
The 22-year-old Sky Airlines is present in eight countries in the Americas and chose Uruguay for its next regional expansion, which is fundamental for the development of tourism and the country, Viera said.
This is very good because it is a company that will provide very good service at low costs, he added while pointing out that 80% of the frequencies operating in the country before the Covid-19 pandemic had been recovered.
Viera also highlighted the importance of the new service attracting Chilean tourists by February, when the number of visitors to Uruguay tends to decrease.
The minister also explained that domestic leisure travel had increased by 30%. and insisted that the sector is recovering, particularly cruise tourism. Last year we closed with 201 cruises and 320,000 visitors dropped by, he detailed.
We are happy to continue growing in the region, in destinations such as Uruguay and Salvador de Bahía, which will be added to the destinations we already operate in Brazil, such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Florianópolis. The landing of Sky will be from January 2, 2024, with 3 frequencies to Montevideo and Salvador de Bahía, said Sky's Commercial Director Carmen Gloria Serrat, who also underlined the company's affordable, safe, and sustainable model.
Sky's Strategic Planning Assistant Manager Julio Solar added that our network development takes a holistic view of the industry and addresses two key concepts of our strategic roadmap: to be the preferred airline in Latin America and to make the sky available to all. Sky today has the highest occupancy factors in the industry, which shows a preference for our product. In that line, these new routes that we are introducing today are a unique opportunity for the expansion of our network.
Sky previously operated between Montevideo and Santiago from September 2016 to April 2019, offering up to 7 weekly flights. Then the route became seasonal and was in full force between December 2019 and March 2020. The airline also served Punta del Este from December 2017 to March 2018, with two weekly flights.
The new destinations will be served by two routes, each with four segments: Lima - Montevideo - Florianópolis - Montevideo - Lima (3 flights per week); and Santiago - Montevideo - Salvador de Bahía - Montevideo - Santiago (3 flights per week).
The airline will be allowed to carry passengers, cargo, and mail between any two different points on each route, in addition to hubbing in Montevideo for travelers wishing to fly Lima-Salvador and Santiago-Florianópolis.
The route between Santiago and Montevideo is currently served by LATAM Airlines and JetSMART.