May 9, 2017 / 5:29 PM / a year ago

Peru's first low-cost airline starts flights; challenge to LATAM Air

LIMA, May 9 (Reuters) - Viva Air became the first low-cost airline to enter Peru’s domestic market on Tuesday, posing a challenge to Santiago-based LATAM Airlines, which has long dominated the market.

Viva - a unit of Irelandia Aviation, which is led by Ryanair founder Declan Ryan - will operate 11 domestic routes with a fleet of two Airbus A320 aircraft.

The company said the move was part of its plan to expand in Latin America, where it is currently active in Colombia.

“I know others aren’t happy, but they will have to adapt... and lower,” Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said at an event marking Viva Air Peru’s first flight at Lima’s Jorge Chavez Airport.

Viva said it aims to transport 700,000 passengers in its first year of operations in the Andean country. (Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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