Chilean Ultra-LCC JetSMART will take five Airbus A320neos from Irish lessor SMBC Aviation Capital as it continues to expand.

SMBC will source the Pratt & Whitney GTF-powered aircraft from its existing orders, with delivery planned for 2019.

The aircraft will be operated on routes in Chile and the surrounding region.

“Our ambition is to become a leading player in the South American ultra-low-cost airline industry. We are making considerable investment in our fleet and the addition of these five aircraft are part of a journey to realize our ambition of reaching 100 aircraft and 100 million passengers by 2026,” JetSMART CEO Estuardo Ortiz said.

Since launching in July 2017, with the backing of US investment fund Indigo Partners, JetSMART has carried over 1 million passengers and claimed 12.7% of the market. The airline is already active on 28 domestic routes, as well as offering international links to Argentina and Peru.

“Air fares [in Chile] have been reduced by over 35% during this year, and the domestic market has grown more than 22%, a higher percentage than the cumulative growth for the previous four years,” JetSMART said.

The Chilean carrier is a new customer for SMBC. “This announcement also underlines our expanding footprint, not just in the Chilean market but right across the region,” SMBC Aviation Capital CEO Peter Barrett said.

SMBC has 90 airline customers in 40 countries. As of March 31, the company had 675 owned, managed and committed aircraft.

Victoria Moores