Friday, August 29, 2014

Boliviana de Aviacion introduced service from Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI) to Salta (SLA) on 15May14

Boliviana de Aviacion started service from Santa Cruz de la Sierra's Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) to Salta (SLA) on 15May14.  Flights will be operated 2x/weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays using 737-300's.  These are the only international flights from Salta, a city of 535,000 people in northwestern Argentina near the Bolivian, Chilean and Paraguayan borders.  

The new service is designed to reinforce tourism in Bolivia and northwestern Argentina and foster greater commercial and cultural ties between the two regions plus it will allow residents of Salta to connect to Boliviana's flights to Madrid (MAD), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), and new service to Miami (MIA) set to start on 06Jun14.  Presently, "Saltenios" need to fly south to Buenos Aires before traveling onward to foreign destinations.

Boliviana already operates 9x/weekly service from Santa Cruz to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), also with its 10-strong 737-300/500 fleet. 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lufthansa to introduce the 747-8 on its Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Frankfurt (FRA) route on 26Oct14

Lufthansa is scheduled to replace the 747-400's that it currently operates on the Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Frankfurt (FRA) route with the 747-8 on 26Oct14 coinciding with the changeover by most international airlines to their winter schedules.  The German airline is the only foreign carrier to have consistently operated the 747 to Argentina in recent years with many airlines opting for smaller widebody types, such as the 777 and A340.  

An advance look at the type came about on 04Jun14 when Lufthansa brought 747-8 D-ABYD (c/n 37829/1453) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on an exceptional basis replacing the normal 747-400 flight.  It was reportedly the first time a 747-8 had visited Argentina, at least one belonging to the German carrier.   

The 747-8 is 5.6 meters (18.3 ft.) longer than the standard 747 models with Lufthansa operating the type with a total of 364 seats; 8 in First Class, 80 in Business, 32 in Premium Economy, and 244 in Economy.  

120 747-8's had been ordered through the end of May 2014; 51 of the 747-8I passenger version and 69 of the 747-8F cargo type with a total of 70 delivered so far.  Lufthansa has ordered 19 747-8's, more than any other airline, all of them being the passenger version.  It has taken delivery of 14 of them so far.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Manufacturer's Bombardier Q400NG visits BQB Lineas Aereas in Uruguay as part of South American Sales Tour

A Bombardier Q400NG visited BQB Lineas Aereas in Uruguay as part of a South American sales tour in late March.  

The aircraft operated a demonstration flight from Montevideo (MVD) to Punta del Este (PDP) for BQB senior executives, pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and other staff with the idea of familiarizing the company with the advantages offered by the latest version of the Q400, including its 1100 nautical mile range and 350-knot cruising speed.    

With BQB operating many longer sectors from Montevideo to Brazil the Q400NG's range and speed might be a good alternative to the airline's ATR-72 fleet, albeit a very good aircraft.         


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Antonov AN-124 flies from Getafe, Spain to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) with A320 Horizontal Stabilizer

On 16Apr14, Antonov Design Bureau AN-124 UR-82072 (c/n 9773053359136) flew from Getafe, Spain to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) with a replacement horizontal stabilizer for LAN A320 LV-BET (c/n 1854) which was damaged in a ramp collision with GOL Transportes Aereos 737-800 PR-GGD (c/n 34275/2588) at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 04Mar14.

The A320 was taxiing in to position itself at the gate after arriving from Tucuman (TUC) when the left winglet of the 737-800 struck the Airbus' right elevator as it was taxiing out for a return flight to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU). The top part of the the 737-800's winglet broke off and part of the A320's elevator was damaged. 

Photos of the AN-124 at EZE: ezeiza.html#more


Thursday, August 21, 2014

News from May: Aerolineas Argentinas 737-700 left winglet clips right horizontal stabilizer of an Aerolineas 737-800

LV-CPH takes off at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 11Feb12.  (Phil Perry Photo)

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-7Q8, LV-CPH, (c/n 28238/817) clipped the right horizontal stabilizer of sistership 737-81D, LV-CXS, (c/n 39425/4167) with its left wingtip while taxiing in to the gate at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 10May14.  


It was the third such incident at AEP in the last six months.  

Previously, Aerolineas Argentinas 737-7Q8, LV-CYO (c/n 30633/1220) struck Austral Embraer 190, LV-CIE, (c/n 19000414) on 07Nov13 with its right wingtip colliding with the left horizontal stabilizer of the 190. 


LV-BET taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 11Feb12.  (Phil Perry Photo)

And GOL 737-8EH, PR-GGO (c/n 35828/3025) collided with LAN Argentina A320-233, LV-BET, (c/n 1854) on 04Mar14, another case of a wingtip striking a winglet.  This last incident resulted in a new A320 horizontal stabilizer being flown into Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on an Antonov AN-124 to replace the damaged one on the LAN aircraft. 


Aerolineas Argentinas aircraft had similar collisions internationally when AR A340-300's hit an Air France 777-300 in Miami (MIA) in January 2013 and an Avianca A330-200 in Caracas (CCS) in November 2013.


Sources:  As above and

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BQB Suspends A319 Flights citing Argentine & Brazilian Route Authority Denials

BQB Lineas Aereas late last week suspended A319 service and laid off four flight crews, citing route authority denials to Cordoba (COR) and Rosario (ROS) by the Argentine authorities and unspecified Brazilian route denials too. 

The Uruguayan airline claims that it is not in economic difficulties, yet it failed to pay other airlines for tickets that it endorsed to them when it canceled flights and needed to reroute passengers on said airlines.  BQB has said that these payments, which are routed through the IATA (International Air Transport Association) clearinghouse, will resume normally soon.  The airline claims to be in good financial health with assets of US$ 70 million, which a BQB spokesperson compared favorably to Alas U, which would be financed through a debt of US$ 15 million on the day it starts operations should it ever do so.        

Editor's Note:  

BQB has been flying to many Brazilian destinations and this is the first I have heard of them being denied any routes to its much larger neighbor to the north. This is also the first I have read about BQB applying for routes to Cordoba (COR) and Rosario (ROS).  

These doubtful claims plus the carrier's failure to pay other airlines through the IATA clearinghouse would seem to indicate that BQB might be having financial problems in spite of its claims to have US$ 70 million in assets and being owned by the very successful Buquebus ferry company.  


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-8HX, LV-FUB, makes First Flight on 15Aug14

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-8HX, LV-FUB, (c/n 39893/5056) made its first flight from Boeing's Renton, Washington (RNT) factory via Grant County International Airport (MWH) to Boeing Field (BFI), site of the manufacturer's final pre-delivery preparations, on 15Aug14 wearing Boeing registration N1787B.    

The aircraft, owned by lessor Aviation Capital Group, will be Aerolineas' 12th 737-800 and 34th 737NG once it is delivered to the Argentine national airline. 

Photos and video of the aircraft by Tom Sheehan in green primer paint and Aerolineas colors rudder and winglets: