Peruvian Airlines might be flying again, but all has not returned to normal in the Peruvian aviation industry.
On August 19th, the airline received a 90-day suspension from the Ministry of Transportation. The decision, which was linked to reported failures in Peruvian Airlines’ safety procedures, left thousands of tourists scrambling to book replacement flights. The Peruvian armed forces even had to ferry some travelers from Cusco to Lima.
On Saturday, Peruvian Airlines was allowed to resume flights with its two newest planes. It will use these planes to fly between Lima and Iquito, Arequipa and Tacna. The airline still hopes to begin fill operations within the next three months.
Hanging over all of these developments is the news that the government is looking to shake up the airline industry. This chatter started on July 28th, when President Ollanta Humala used his inaugural speech to advocate for a national airline, which would complement Peruvian Airlines, StarPeru, LC Busre, LAN and TACA.
Further statements from the Ministry of Transportation mentioned that the airline would fly routes that are not covered by existing carriers. The government has said it was also looking into partnering with private investors to create the flagship carrier.
The latest bit of news in this long string is that the government is looking to bring a major Asian airline into Peru. This came from Economics Minister Luis Miguel Castilla last weekend. Castilla insisted that the market needed more competition.
Of course, the aviation industry is essential to Peru’s economic growth. It is an important engine in bringing tourists into Peru and shuttling them between cities (especially Lima and Cusco, a very highly traveled route), and it also plays a role in exporting some perishable goods.
The past month has been a turbulent one for Peru’s aviation industry, and it looks like there will be more change to come.
Even as Peruvian Airlines takes off again, it seems that change is likely to come to Peru’s aviation sector