“Colombian carriers Aires and Aero Republica are battling to secure traffic rights which will rank them as number two on key international routes after Avianca. Aero Republica president Roberto Junguito says his carrier is asking Colombian authorities for rights to serve the USA, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. It is also seeking additional rights for Venezuela, the only international market it now serves along with Panama.
“We just want to be sure we have options to grow,” says Junguito, adding Aero Republica wanted to get its requests in early as it is prepares to start the second phase of the business plan it initiated in 2006 after being acquired by Copa of Panama. Under the plan Aero Republica has already improved its domestic product and launched new routes to Panama, where its passengers can connect onto Copa flights throughout the Americas.
Rival Aires, currently a domestic operator with the exception of a few turboprop flights to Panama, Aruba and Curaçao, is also ready to start operating several of the same international routes. Aires has already secured traffic rights to launch services to Fort Lauderdale and New York in the USA from Bogotá and plans to begin both of these routes in November. Aires president Francisco Mendez says the carrier also has several other new route applications pending with Colombian authorities, including for Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica and Mexico. Aires also has applied for more US routes including linking Fort Lauderdale with Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena and Pereira.” – Source (more here)