ANALYSIS: Airlines in South America - The Biggest and Fastest Growing Operators

Ahead of this year's World Routes forum, Routesonline is providing another look at our series of articles on the leading airlines and airports and most used aircraft types across regions of the world last year. Here we look closely at the airlines of South America and highlight the region's top performers.

Ahead of this year's World Routes forum, Routesonline is providing another look at our series of articles on the leading airlines and airports and most used aircraft types across regions of the world last year.  Here we look closely at the airlines of South America and highlight the region's top performers.

​ The data is all supplied by OAG Aviation using its OAG Schedules Analyser tool.

Scheduled Air Capacity From South America (2005 - 2014)

Our analysis of published schedules for the past ten years shows that air capacity within and from South America has risen from 140,013,680 available seats in 2005 to 259,462,050 available seats in 2014.  This represents a growth of 85.3 per cent across the period, an average annual increase of 9.5 per cent.  In the past year capacity increased 2.3 per cent.

Top Ten Airlines in the South American Market (2014)

Brazilian airlines dominate air travel within and from South America. Gol Transportes Aereos leads the way with a 20.6 per cent share of available capacity within and from South America in 2014, despite a small 0.7 per cent fall in network capacity in the region. The ‘big two’ in the region TAM Airlines (17.7 per cent share) and LAN Airlines (12.4 per cent) follow and if you bring them together under the LATAM structure would hold the dominant position with a 30.1 per cent share of available seats.

Avianca, which itself has played an important role in consolidation in South American skies, has seen the largest rise in network capacity in the region with growth of 35.2 per cent between 2013 and 2014, increasing its share of capacity from 7.4 per cent to 9.8 per cent: this rises further when you add the operations of Avianca Brasil (formerly Ocean Air).

Only three of the top ten airlines in this market reported declines in capacity in this region between 2013 and 2014: Panama’s Copa Airlines (down 13.9 per cent), TAM Airlines (down 3.6 per cent) and market leader Gol Transportes Aereos (down 0.7 per cent).

Fastest Growing Airlines in the South American Market (2010-2014)

Looking at capacity data in the region across a five year period, it is Peruvian Airlines that has grown capacity by the biggest margin with capacity up 549.8 per cent from 2010, its first full year of scheduled operations and last year.  Significant growth during this timescale was also recorded by Boliviana de Aviacion - BoA (up 463.2 per cent) and Azul Airlines (up 419.6 per cent), the latter having grown in just five years of operations to become the region's fourth largest operator by capacity.

Data comparison between 2013 and 2014 shows that Venezuela's Conviasa has seen the largest year-on-year growth among the top 20 carriers in this region with capacity rising 59.3 per cent over the 12 month period.  Double-digit capacity growth within and from South America was also recorded by Avianca (up 35.1 per cent), Peruvian Airlines (up 22.5 per cent), Aerolineas Argentinas (up 20.5 per cent), Boliviana de Aviacion - BoA (up 19.5 per cent), Avianca Brasil (up 14.8 per cent) and Air France (up 10.6 per cent) in 2014 versus 2013.

Scheduled South American Capacity by Aircraft Type

The chart below shows which aircraft types were most prevalent in the South American market during 2014. The schedule data shows the Airbus A320 (320) is the most widely used aircraft type in this market with a 28.5 per cent share of available seats with overall network capacity up 3.3 per cent between 2013 and 2014 from 71.61 million seats to 73.94 million seats.

The second most utilised aircraft type in this market is the Boeing 737-800 (738) with a 17.9 per cent share, while third most widely operated type by network capacity is the Airbus A319 (319) with a 10.5 per cent share.

The biggest rises in annual capacity among the top ten aircraft types were recorded by the Boeing 737-800 (Winglets) (73W) with a 369.0 per cent rise in available domestic seats in 2014 versus 2013 and the Airbus A321 (321) with a 48.2 per cent rise. The largest decline in annual capacity was recorded by the Boeing 737-700 (73G) with a fall of 23.1 per cent versus 2013.


Routes Americas 2021

The route development forum for the Americas
Bogotá, Colombia  9 - 11 February 2021

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