Alas Uruguay (YZ, Montevideo) will commence operations next month with charter flights to Asuncion once its first aircraft, a former Ukraine International Airlines B737-300 CX-OAA (msn 28569) dry-leased from Ireland's Aergo Group, exits the paint shop in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Once it has secured its Air Operators Certificate from the Uruguayan civil aviation authority (Dirección Nacional de Aviación Civil - DINACIA) and depending on traffic rights secured, initial destinations could include Santiago de Chile Int'l, São Paulo Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro Int'l, and Buenos Aires Aeroparque.

Airline spokeswoman Sabrina Acevedo told the El Espectador newspaper that a second of the type, also from Ukraine, will arrive in mid-February while a third, currently in the United States, is due in the first half of March.

With its fleet in place, the start-up will then expand into the scheduled services sector in mid-April, with plans to partner other unspecified airlines on intercontinental flights in July this year.

Founded by former PLUNA (PU, Montevideo) employees, Alas Uruguay management says it wants a share of the country's regional market, which until last year, was dominated by BQB Líneas Aéreas (5Q, Punta del Este).