Saturday, October 24, 2020

ROUTE UPDATES: Regularly-scheduled domestic flights resumed in Argentina on 22Oct20 after a seven month suspension

Aerolineas Argentinas takes off again ! ! ! 

Argentina went into quarantine related to COVID-19 on 20Mar20 resulting in the suspension of all regularly scheduled domestic and international flights.  While there have been many "special" flights operated worldwide by both Argentine and foreign airlines, mostly to repatriate Argentines stranded overseas and foreigners marooned in Argentina, these flights have typically not been available to the general public.  They have usually been approved by the various governments only a few at a time, typically with just a couple of weeks' notice. 

However, a first step back to regularly-scheduled service took place on Thursday, 22Oct20 when Aerolineas Argentinas operated four domestic flights from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Jujuy (JUJ), Mendoza (MDZ), Tucuman (TUC) and Ushuaia (USH).  This was followed on Friday, 23Oct20 with service from EZE to Cordoba (COR), Neuquen (NQN), Posadas (PSS), Resistencia (RES) and Salta (SLA).  

The flights require passengers to apply for government authorization online but the permissions appear to be more like registrations rather than a process that requires an approval. 

The flights are being operated out of Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and not Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) because the latter airport's runway is being widened by 20 meters (65 ft.) and extended by 615 meters (2,000 ft.) with the facility expected to reopen in February 2021.      

More destinations are expected to be added from EZE in the coming weeks.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

FLEET UPDATE: Fuerza Aerea Argentina continues to operate one F-28, TC-52 (c/n 11074)

The Argentine Government has operated a fleet of Fokker F-28's as government / military transports since 1970 when the first aircraft, F-28 Mk-1000, T-01, (c/n 11028), was delivered to the Fuerza Aerea Argentina as a VIP presidential aircraft. 

The last F-28 flight operated in any capacity by any entity in Argentina was thought to have been flown by Fuerza Aerea Argentina F-28 Mk-1000C, TC-53, (c/n 11020) in August 2019 shortly before the aircraft's time limit for undergoing heavy maintenance.  However, Fuerza Aerea Argentina F-28 Mk-1000C, TC-52, (c/n 11074) operated a flight between Mendoza (MDZ) and Villa Reynolds (VME) as recently as 05Oct20.  

A total of 17 F-28's have operated in Argentina; in airline service with Aerolineas Argentinas, American Falcon, Austral, DINAR, and LAER and with the nation's Air Force, Navy, Lineas Aereas del Estado (LADE) and as a VIP / Presidential transport.

The blog editor will soon make three postings with a short history of each F-28 flown by the Argentine government in its various roles. 


Friday, October 16, 2020

HISTORICAL INTEREST: Fuerza Aerea Argentina / LADE retired F-27 fleet in September 2016 after nearly 40 years in service

Lineas Aereas del Estado - LADE, an arm of the Fuerza Aerea Argentina, retired its last F-27 from service in 2016 after over 40 years flying the type.  F-27-400M, TC-79 (c/n 10575), marked the end of an era in mid-September with a week-long tour of 19 cities where the aircraft flew during its career.  

The aircraft was painted in a special scheme for the occasion as noted in these links to the Rollout Spotting blog and short YouTube video:

Celebrations greeted TC-79 everywhere it flew starting at Parana (PRA) and continuing to El Palomar (EPA), Mar del Plata (MDQ), Bahia Blanca (BHI), Trelew (REL), Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD), Puerto Madryn (PMY), San Antonio Oeste (OES), Gobernador Gregores (GGS), Puerto Deseado (PUD), San Julian, Santa Cruz, Rio Gallegos (RGL), Rio Grande (RGA), Ushuaia (USH), El Calafate (FTE), Esquel (EQS), Bariloche (BRC), and Neuquen (NQN).  Most of these airports are located in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina famed for its lakes, glaciers, mountains and wilderness.

LADE's F-27 fleet additionally operated flights from Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) to the Islas Malvinas / Falklands Islands during the 1970's bringing medications and other supplies to the archipelago.  It also flew 309 missions to the islands in support of Argentine forces during the South Atlantic War of 1982 transporting men and materiel without suffering any losses.   

The Fuerza Aerea Argentina operated a total of sixteen F-27's with all or nearly all of them having flown passenger service on behalf of LADE.  

The aircraft had a poor safety record flying for the FAA / LADE, probably reflective of the rugged Patagonia region where it flew with frequent bad weather, especially in winter, and airfields that were often minimally equipped with navigational and other aids.  

Nine of the sixteen F-27's were involved in incidents ranging from serious, such as a gear collapse upon landing, to devastating accidents with the loss of all passengers and crew, which happened twice.         

Specifically, the following aircraft were involved in the listed incidents / accidents:  

F-27-600, T-42 (c/n 10346) - Gear up landing in Rio Gallegos (RGL) on 18Apr72 with no victims.  

F-27-400M Troopship, TC-71 (c/n 10403) - Nose gear collapsed upon landing in Lago Argentino on 06Feb75 with no victims.

F-27-400M Troopship, TC-73 (c/n 10407) - Left main landing gear collapse followed by runway excursion and collision with the airport terminal building in Jeremie Airport, Haiti while flying a United Nations peace mission on 16Jun95. No victims.      

F-27-400M Troopship, TC-77 (c/n 10416) - Landing accident at the Marambio Base in Antarctica on 02Dec69 resulting in the W/O of the aircraft but with no victims.    

F-27-400M Troopship, TC-74 (c/n 10408) - Collided with a generator while starting to taxi at the Military Aviation School in Cordoba on 07Feb73 resulting in one death.  Cargo door opened while in flight over Cordoba on 04Oct74 with one death.     

F-27-400M Troopship, TC-75 (c/n 10411) - Collision with terrain in the Quebrada del Rio Congas 200km northeast of Lima, Peru while performing a humanitarian aid flight. Loss of 4 crew members with 4 passengers seriously injured.     

F-27-400M Troopship, TC-76 (c/n 10412) - Collision with terrain after an abrupt turn during take off followed by fire at Mendoza (MDZ) on 17May11 with the loss of 4 victims. 

F-27-400M Troopship, TC-72 (c/n 10404) - Collision with Mt. Pilcaniyeu while on final approach to Bariloche (BRC) on 16Mar75 with the loss of 52 victims. 

F-27-500, TC-72 (c/n 10619) - Collision with terrain in stormy conditions including rain, turbulence and strong winds near Mt. Champaqui in Cordoba on 08Nov95 with the loss of 53 victims. 

Sources: via Carlos Abella via Carlos Abella    

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

ROUTE UPDATE: KLM replaced 777-300 with 787-9 on Amsterdam (AMS) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Santiago (SCL) route in approx. mid 2019

KLM replaced its 408-seat 777-300's on the Amsterdam (AMS) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Santiago (SCL) route with 294-seat 787-9's in approx. mid-2019.  The equipment change apparently continues to this day as the Dutch carrier has operated the type on its authorized "special flights" on this route several times recently (regularly-scheduled flights have not returned to Argentina yet).

The change effectively reduced the number of Economy Class seats operated by KLM to Argentina and Chile while maintaining the quantity of Economy Comfort and World Business seats as the 777-300's have 334, 40 and 34 seats in each class, respectively, while the 787-9's have 216, 48 and 30 such seating.

The economy class seat reduction might be to balance out the increase in number of flights by KLM on the route in recent years from 4x/weekly to 6x/weekly.  The consistent number of premium cabin seating probably reflects the importance of business travel on this route.  



Sunday, October 11, 2020

ROUTE UPDATE: Iberia added the A350-900 between Madrid (MAD) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 25Feb19

Iberia Airlines started operating the A350-900 on the Madrid (MAD) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) route on 25Feb19, the first Latin American airport to see service with this type by IB and the second overall after New York Kennedy (JFK).  The type was scheduled to operate one of Iberia's two daily flights between the Spanish and Argentine capitals. 

The equipment change apparently continues to this day as the Spanish  carrier has operated the type on its authorized "special flights" on this route several times in the past week (regularly-scheduled flights have not returned to Argentina yet).

Iberia was scheduled to receive a total of 16 A350-900's by 2021, although the delivery schedule might have been pushed back due to COVID-19. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

ROUTE UPDATE: LATAM Brazil added Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Cordoba (COR) - Mount Pleasant (MPN) (Malvinas / Falklands) on 20Nov19

LATAM Brazil inaugurated Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Cordoba (COR) - Mt. Pleasant (MPN) service on 20Nov19 linking Brazil's largest city and Argentina's second-largest community with the Malvinas / Falklands Islands, subject of the territorial dispute between Argentina and the UK that led to the South Atlantic War of 1982.

The service was scheduled to operate GRU - MPN nonstop 3x/monthly and GRU - COR - MPN 1x/monthly with all flights operated by 767-300's but was presumably suspended in March 2020 when all scheduled flights to/from and within Argentina were suspended due to COVID-19.  

The new route complements the flights operated by LATAM Chile and predecessor LAN Chile since 1999 using A319's and A320's between Punta Arenas (PUQ) Chile and Mt. Pleasant (MPN) nonstop 3x/monthly and 1x/monthly with a stop in Rio Gallegos (RGL) in Argentina.

Both the new and existing flights serve to connect the islands with the South American mainland and the world beyond, giving islanders more access to supplies and important services, such as medical treatment.  767-300's were chosen for the route on the basis of their cargo capacity, which by itself was expected to make the route profitable.     


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Hi Fly Malta operated first A380 commercial service to Argentina on 23Jul19

Venezuelan airline Estelar wet-leased Airbus A380, 9H-MIP (c/n 006) from charter specialist Hi Fly Malta in July 2019 to temporarily replace one of its A340-300's that was undergoing heavy maintenance.  The airframe in question was originally delivered to Singapore Airlines as 9V-SKC on 11Mar08, making it one of the oldest A380's, even though it has only been in service some 12 years.  It was the first A380 to have moved from the airline that it was delivered to onto a second carrier. 

One of the main routes that Hi Fly Malta flew the A380 on for Estelar was Caracas (CCS) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) with the first flight on this sector arriving in the Argentine capital on 23Jul19, making it the third visit by an A380 to Argentina and first commercial service by the type to the country, the other two visits having been part of promotional tours in December 2007 and March 2012.  

Blog posting including a photo of the first visit:


Sunday, October 4, 2020

ROUTE UPDATE: American discontinued Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA) in March 2020 (announced on 05Dec19)

American Airlines announced on 05Dec19 that it would drop its six-month old Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA) service, effective 06May20, although the last flights were actually operated in early March 2020, shortly before all domestic and international flights in / out of Argentina were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic on approx. 20Mar20.

The service linking Cordoba, Argentina's second-largest city, with Florida's largest city had been years in the planning but the flights turned out be unprofitable, apparently due to the following factors:  

* Little business traffic which pays higher fares

* Few sales of business class tickets, even at discounted prices

* Fewer inbound tourists from the US than anticipated

* Cordoba passengers choosing to fly from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) when airfares were lower from there, even when saving only $ 100. 

* American's morning departure from Cordoba (COR) arrived too late in Miami (MIA) to connect with many points beyond.    

* The Argentine peso experienced a significant devaluation in August 2019 with the economy in a deep recession leading to much less international travel by Argentine travelers. 

* Cargo traffic was apparently healthy but was not enough to make up for disappointing passenger results.     

Overall load factors were reported to be between 50-70%, depending on the source, generally not enough to make for a profitable operation, especially with most passengers travelling on lower airfares.  The revenue for some flights was rumored to not be enough to even cover the cost of fuel.  

Some sources have speculated that the route might eventually be resumed when American takes delivery of the Airbus A321XLR's that it has on order, aircraft that are much more efficient than the 767-300's that the airline used on the route and with many fewer seats to fill for a profitable operation.


Friday, June 7, 2019

ROUTE UPDATE: American started Miami (MIA) - Cordoba (COR) service on 06Jun19

American Airlines introduced regularly scheduled flights between Miami (MIA) and Cordoba (COR) when American 767-323ER, N398AN (c/n 29605/748), took off from the Florida airport to Argentina at 10:57pm on the evening of 06Jun19.  The aircraft landed in Cordoba (COR) at 7:52am local time on 07Jun19 to a traditional "water salute" from the airport's fire engines.  

The first southbound flight had 176 passengers on board, making for an 86% load factor, including a youth choir from San Francisco consisting of 70 teenagers and adults traveling to Argentina and Uruguay on a concert tour.  

After two hours on the ground, the aircraft took from Cordoba (COR) at 10:23am for the return journey to Miami (MIA) with 180 passengers on board (88% load factor) plus 15 tons of Chilean salmon.  Indeed, the flight is expected to offer logistical cost savings to exporters of perishable goods, such as producers of blueberries and cherries based in the "interior", many of whom currently rely on lengthy and costly ground transportation to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to fly their goods to destination markets overseas.     

The new flights are perhaps the most significant new airline service ever to be introduced from an airport in the Argentine "interior" (the entire country outside of the federal capital of Buenos Aires and the province of Buenos Aires).  

While other airlines fly from "interior" Argentine airports to South American points and offer connections to several of the most important cities in the United States and Europe, American's new service connects to dozens of destinations in the US, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Canada and Europe directly through Miami (MIA), including the carrier's hubs in Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), Chicago-O'Hare (ORD), Charlotte (CLT), Philadelphia (PHL) and Los Angeles (LAX) with further connections to another 80+ cities in the US and beyond. 

American's new flights between Cordoba (COR), Argentina's second-largest city, and Miami (MIA), will operate 4x/weekly in both directions, joining the carrier's service between Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Miami (MIA), 2x/daily year-round plus a third frequency during the southern hemisphere summer, New York Kennedy (JFK) 1x/daily, Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) 1x/daily and Los Angeles (LAX) 3x/weekly, this last service having been introduced on 20Dec18.     

Despite the new service, American Airlines aircraft are no strangers to Cordoba (COR), with approx. two dozen planes having been diverted from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) during the last 20 years, mostly due to weather, including a DC-10-30 and several MD-11's, 767-300's, 777-200's and 777-300's.    


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

AIRPORT PROFILE: Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Airlines, Aircraft & Destinations - Week of 18Jun18 - 24Jun18

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE)

Total Weekly Departures 18Jun18 - 24Jun18 

Scheduled flights are noted according to online sources.  

Blog editor checked some flights to verify actual operations and discovered some variations, as noted below.  


* Bariloche (BRC)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 7x 737-800 (daily)

* Cordoba (COR)
   Austral - 21x E190 (3x daily)

* El Calafate (FTE)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 6X 737-800

* Iguazu (IGR)
   Austral - 7x E190 (daily)

* Mar del Plata (MDQ) - Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD)
   Austral - 4x E190

* Mar del Plata (MDQ) - Ushuaia (USH)

   Austral - 3x E190

* Mendoza (MDZ)

   Austral - 14x E190 (2x daily)

* Rio Grande (RGA)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 3x 737-700
   Austral - 4x E190

* Rosario (ROS)
   Austral - 7x E190 (daily)

* Salta (SLA)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 7x 737-800 (daily)


Latin America - Brazil

* Belo Horizonte (CNF)
    Azul - 14x A320 (2x daily)

* Brasilia (BSB)
   LATAM Brasil - 2x A320, 3X A321

* Florianopolis (FLN)
   Azul - 5x A320  

* Fortaleza (FOR)
   Gol - 1x 737-800 (Sat only) 

* Joao Pessoa (JPA)
   Gol - 1x 737-800 (Sat only)

* Manaos (MAO)
    Gol - 1x 737-800 (Sun only)

* Natal (NAT)
   Gol - 1x 737-800 (Sat only)

* Navegantes (NVT)
   Azul - 4x E195 

* Porto Alegre (POA)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 7x 737-800 (daily)
   Austral - 7x E190 (daily)

* Porto Seguro (BPS)
   Gol - 1x 737-800 (Sat only)

* Recife (REC)
   Gol - 2x 737-800 
   LATAM Brasil - 1x A320 (Sun only)

* Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG)

   Aerolineas Argentinas - 20x 737-800 (3x daily), 1x 737 MAX 8 apparent equipment sub
   Gol - 10x 737-800
   LATAM Brasil - 2x A321
   LATAM Paraguay - 7x A320 (daily) 

* Salvador de Bahia (SSA)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 3x 737-800
   Gol - 1x 737-800
   LATAM Brasil - 1x A320 (Sun only)

* Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
   Austral - 7x E190 (daily)
   Gol - 15x 737-800
   LATAM Brasil - 16x A320, 12x A321

Latin America - Other

* Asuncion (ASU)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 4x 737-700
   Austral - 3x E190
   Amaszonas Paraguay - 6x CRJ-200 
   LATAM Paraguay - 7x A320 (daily)

* Bogota (BOG) 
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 4x A330-200
   Avianca - 7x 787-8 (daily)

* Cancun (CUN)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 5x A330-200
* Caracas (CCS)
   Estelar - 3x A340-300

* Cayo Coco (CCC) - Havana (HVA)
   Cubana - 1x IL-96 (Mon only)

* Lima (LIM) 
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 7x 737-800 (daily)
   Avianca - 5x A320, 3x A321, 6x A330 (apparently -200 series)
   LATAM Argentina - 7x A320 (daily) 
   LATAM Peru - 14x 767-300 (2x daily)

* Lima (LIM) - Quito (UIO)
   LATAM Ecuador - 7x A319 (daily)

* Mexico City (MEX)
   Aeromexico - 4x 787-8, 3x 787-9

* Panama City (PTY)
   Copa - 21x 737-800 (3x daily)

* Punta Cana (PUJ)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 7x 737 MAX 8 (daily)

* Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 7x 737-800 (daily)
   Boliviana - 5x 737-800, 2x 767-300

* Santiago (SCL)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 1x 737 MAX 8, 11x 737-800
   KLM - 6x 777-300
   LATAM Argentina - 7x A320 (daily)
   LATAM Airlines - 10x A320, 16x A321 
   Sky - 14x A319 (2x daily)


* Amsterdam (AMS)
   KLM - 6x 777-300

* Barcelona (BCN)
   Level - 4x A330-200

* Frankfurt (FRA)
   Lufthansa - 7x 747-8 (daily)

* London-Gatwick (LGW)
   Norwegian - 4x 787-9

* London-Heathrow (LHR)
   British Airways - 7x 777-200 (daily)

* Madrid (MAD)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 3x A330-200, 7x A340-300
   Air Europa - 6x 787-9
   Iberia - 14x A340-600 (2x daily)

* Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
   Air France - 7x 777-200 (daily)

* Rome-Fiumicino (FCO)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 7x A330-200 (daily)
   Alitalia - 7x 777-200 (daily)

* Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Istanbul (IST)
   Turkish - 7x 777-300 (daily)

United States & Canada

* Atlanta (ATL)
   Delta - 7x A330-300 (daily)

* Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW)
   American - 7x 777-200 (daily)

* Houston-Intercontinental (IAH)
   United - 7x 777-200 (daily)

* Miami (MIA)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 14x A330-200 (2x daily)
   American - 7x 777-200 (daily), 7x 777-300 (daily)
   LATAM Argentina - 8x 767-300

* Newark (EWR)
   United - 7x 767-400 (daily)

* New York-Kennedy (JFK)
   Aerolineas Argentinas - 7x A330-200 (daily)
   American - 7x 777-200 (daily)

* Toronto (YYZ)
   Air Canada - 3x 787-9

Middle East, Africa, Asia & Oceania

* Auckland (AKL)
   Air New Zealand - 5x 777-200

* Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) - Dubai (DXB)
   Emirates - 7x 777-300ER (daily)

* Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Addis Ababa (ADD)
   Ethiopian - 7x 787-8 (daily)

* Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Doha (DOH)
   Qatar - 7x 777-200LR (daily)

Freighter Service




Latin America - Brazil

* Manaos (MAO)
   LATAM Brasil Cargo - 10x, apparently with 767-300F  

* Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP)
   LATAM Brasil Cargo - 4x, apparently with 767-300F

Latin America - Other

* Bogota (BOG) 
   Avianca Cargo - 2x, apparently with A330F

* Lima (LIM)
   Avianca Cargo - 1x with undetermined type 

* Montevideo (MVD)
   Aeromas - 8x apparently with Cessna Caravans, possibly Embraer Bandeirante

* Santiago (SCL)
   LATAM Brasil Cargo - 5x, apparently with 767-300F
   LATAM Chile Cargo - 1x 767-300F, 1x 777-200F


* Frankfurt (FRA)
   Lufthansa - 1x 777-200F (Sat only) operated by D-AALA Aerologic

United States & Canada

* Miami (MIA)
   UPS - 3x, apparently with 767-300F


* Dakar (DKR) - Frankfurt (FRA)
   Lufthansa - 1x MD-11F

* Quito (UIO) - Amsterdam (AMS)
   Martinair Holland - 2x 747-400F apparently with KLM aircraft

* Quito (UIO) - Doha (DOH)
   Qatar Cargo - 3x 777-FDZ

* Santiago (SCL) - Miami (MIA)
   UPS - 1x with undetermined aircraft type

Saturday, June 16, 2018

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-300 LV-CSD finally leaves Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE)

Aerolineas Argentinas A340-313X, LV-CSD (c/n 123), pictured above, was retired by the airline in December 2017.  (Phil Perry Collection)

Aerolineas Argentinas A340-300, LV-CSD (c/n 123), which the carrier retired from service in December 2017, finally left Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Lourdes (LDE) on 14Jun16, arriving in France the following  day.  For now, the aircraft is parked at Lourdes (LDE) with no known future operator or anticipated change of registration. 

LV-CSD was delivered to Singapore Airlines in 1996, went on to fly for Cathay Pacific in 2001 and joined Aerolineas Argentinas on 22Dec11. 


Saturday, June 9, 2018

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas 5th 737 MAX 8, LV-HKW, arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) tonight 09Jun18

Aerolineas Argentinas' fifth 737 MAX 8, LV-HKW (c/n 44296/6926), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) tonight at 20:45 hours on its delivery flight from Boeing Field (BFI) via Punta Cana (PUJ).

Aerolineas Argentinas has six more MAX series aircraft on order, for a total of 11, with the option of choosing which model for the remaining six to be delivered, MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 200, MAX 9 or MAX 10, as noted by the leading British aviation publication, Flight International: