Chilean ultralow-cost carrier JetSmart, part of the portfolio of investment group Indigo Partners, has acquired a portion of nascent Argentinian carrier Alas del Sur.

"The rumor is correct, but we have no further comment at this time," Indigo managing partner Bill Franke wrote in an email to Travel Weekly on Monday. Indigo is the major shareholder in JetSmart and Mexican airline Volaris. It also owns Frontier and Hungarian budget carrier Wizz.

Having a stake in Alas del Sur will likely facilitate expansion for JetSmart in the Argentinian market. The investment was first reported by South American media late last week.

Alas del Sur, founded by Argentine businessman Damian Toscana, had originally planned to begin operations early last year. It planned to hub in Cordoba, Argentina, and has already received regulatory approval to operate 36 routes within Argentina and to other South American destinations, according to the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio. Further afield international destinations, including Los Angeles, were also in the company's plans. 

JetSmart launched operations last July and now flies 19 routes within Chile as well as from Santiago to Lima, Peru.

Last fall, Indigo Partners made the largest aircraft order in commercial aviation history: 430 Airbus narrowbodies that it will spread among its four carriers.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI