The Argentinian Civil Aviation Authorities authorized Wingo to launch flights between Colombia and Argentina. If the Copa Airlines subsidiary does start these services, it would be the second low-cost carrier to enter this market, following the steps of Viva Colombia.
The new airline on the block
Wingo is a low-cost subsidiary of Copa Holdings, launched in 2016 with a Boeing 737 NG aircraft fleet. It mainly serves international routes throughout the Latin American region.
As of July 2022, Wingo operates 19 international routes from Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellin. And the airline is looking to add new services shortly.
The Argentinian government authorized this carrier to launch international services into the country.
The negotiations between both parties have been ongoing since February. Initially, they were eyeing the possibility of authorizing Wingo new routes between Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Rosario, Mendoza, and Salta with the Colombian cities of Medellin and Cali.
Nevertheless, in the end, the Argentinian authorities only gave Wingo their approval to launch commercial scheduled flights that end at Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires. Wingo can connect Buenos Aires with the following cities: Medellin, Cartagena, Cali, Barranquilla, San Andres, Pereira, and Bucaramanga in Colombia, and Panama City.
A Wingo airline plane sits on the tarmac at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia. Photo: Getty Images.
The competitive market?
Despite having the possibility to launch up to eight routes between Colombia and Panama to Argentina, it is unlikely that Wingo will do that.
Instead, the low-cost carrier could launch some of these routes, including Panama City-Buenos Aires and perhaps Medellin-Buenos Aires.
Launching the Panama City-Buenos Aires route could be risky as it would be stepping into the same market already served by Copa Airlines. Nevertheless, both carriers have specific market targets, one being a low-cost and the other being a legacy carrier.
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Meanwhile, launching the Medellin-Buenos Aires route would be in direct competition with Viva Air.
Viva Air only launched its routes to Buenos Aires from Bogota and Medellin in June and is expected to increase its capacity in October.
The market between Colombia and Argentina currently has three players. These are Aerolíneas Argentinas, Avianca, and Viva. They offer 29 weekly flights between the three, mainly on the Bogota-Buenos Aires route.
The market between Colombia and Argentina currently has three airlines: Viva Colombia, Aerolíneas Argentinas, and Avianca. Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via @gquimar.
Wingo is a low-cost carrier launched by Copa Holdings, the Panamanian company which also runs Copa Airlines.
The airline offers an extensive route network with low fares throughout the Americas. It has a fleet composed of eight Boeing 737-800 aircraft. These jets can carry 186 passengers, including 42 seats with additional space between them. Wingo’s fleet was inherited from Copa Airlines, which is currently renewing its fleet and adding new Boeing 737 MAX jetliners.
Weekly, Wingo offers around 288 weekly flights on routes across the region, including nearly 200 weekly domestic services.
Wingo offers 90 international flights per week as of July 2022. It operates 19 international routes. From Bogota it flies to Aruba (AUA), Cancun (CUN), Curazao (CUR), Guayaquil (GYE), Havana (HAV), Lima (LIM), Mexico City (MEX), Panama (PTY), Santo Domingo (SDQ ), San Jose (SJO), and Quito (UIO).
From Cali, it flies to Cancun and Panama; from Cartagena, it flies to Panama; and from Medellín, it flies to Cancun, Panama, Punta Cana (PUJ), and Santo Domingo.