Wednesday, March 22, 2017

President Macri announces Argentina National Air Transportation Policy

Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced the country's National Air Transportation Policy at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires on March 6. 

The goal of the policy is to double the number of passengers traveling by air domestically within Argentina by the end of his presidential term in December 2019 from the current 10 million per year to 22 million annually.  This increase in passenger traffic is expected to generate 25,000 jobs in direct and indirect employment in the airlines and related travel and tourism businesses.

This would be accomplished through a three-pronged strategy:

1) Increase the number of travelers carried domestically by Aerolineas Argentinas by 4 million per year (a 48% increase) through the addition of more aircraft currently on order that would be deployed on an increasing number of routes and with greater frequency.

2) Another 8 million annual passengers would be carried by other carriers, including existing airlines, such as Andes Lineas Aereas, American Jet and proposed new carriers, such as Flybondi, Avianca Argentina, Alas del Sur, Flyest and possibly even Norwegian and Irelandia Aviation (realeted to Ryanair). 

3) A 22 thousand million (22 billion in the US) peso investment (approx. US$ 15 billion) in improving the infrastructure at 19 airports, including upgrades to navigation systems to facilitate operations in inclement weather. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas receives its 27th 737-800, LV-GUB, on 15Feb17

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-8SH, LV-GUB (c/n 42060/6266), taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 07Mar17.  (Phil Perry Photo)

This aircraft reportedly arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 15Feb17.  It is Aerolineas' 27th 737-800 and is apparently leased from Air Lease Corporation.   

Source:

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/vuelo-de-entrega.html
http://www.airfleets.net/ficheapp/plane-b737ng-42060.htm

Monday, March 20, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Flybondi and Avianca Argentina Route Approvals put on hold by Argentine Ministry of Transportation

The Argentine ANAC aviation authority route approvals stemming from the December 27 route hearings were confirmed by the Ministry of Transportation for Andes Lineas Aereas, American Jet and Alas del Sur but not for Flybondi or Avianca Argentina.



Flybondi

Flybondi's approvals are on hold until the airline comes up with more concrete plans regarding the type of aircraft that it will fly and establishes its technical competence to operate.  At the time of this posting the carrier announced that it plans to start service with the 737-800.  No specific order or lease plans were announced but the company has apparently come to a customer support agreement with Boeing and plans to negotiate the acquisition of aircraft for the start of service in the second half of 2017.  

Julian Cook, Flybondi's CEO, further commented that the carrier will soon start negotiations for the acquisition of 50 Boeing 737 MAX 200's, which is a new variant of the 737 MAX series launched for Ryanair that can hold up to 200 seats.  
Avianca Argentina

Avianca Argentina's plans are suspended because the carrier established itself in Argentina through the purchase in 2016 of the air operator certificate of Macair, a small charter and contract carrier, owned by Argentine President Mauricio Macri's family.  There are suspicions on the part of some parties, generally those of the political opposition, that the president's family has retained a financial stake in the new carrier, which would be a potential conflict of interest since the president is the key figure in determining Argentine national air policy and could inappropriately favor Avianca Argentina.  An investigation is underway. 

Avianca CEO German Efromovich has questioned the delay and has reportedly threatened to sue the Argentine government if the delay goes on for an indefinite amount of time.  In any case, the airline plans to start flying charters immediately with its two recently delivered ATR-72-600's.  

La Nacion newspaper recently revealed that Avianca bought Macair (in early 2016) for US$ 10 million to be paid in installments by 2018, with the purchase including the transfer of Macair's Air Operator Certificate, the company's hangar at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and five aircraft (presumably its fleet of five Jetstream 32's).       

Sources:

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1990552-el-gobierno-postego-el-ingreso-de-avianca-al-mercado-low-cost-hasta-que-se-resuelva-el-conflicto-judicial
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170309/avn-170309.html
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170316/avn-170316.html

Saturday, March 18, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: ANAC authorizes routes to Flybondi, Avianca Argentina, Alas del Sur, Andes & American Jet - ROUTE AWARD DETAILS

The five airlines had the following routes approved:

Flybondi

The European-backed startup had its routes approved on the basis of operating its Buenos Aires-originating flights out of El Palomar (EPA) airport, located just west of the national capital.  

Routes include flights from El Palomar (EPA) to Cordoba (COR), Esquel (EQS), Iguazu (IGR), Mendoza (MDZ), Parana (PRA), San Luis (LUQ) and Viedma (VDM).  Plus three routes from Cordoba (COR and two from Mendoza (MDZ). 

Flybondi also had two international routes approved to Santiago (SCL):

Iguazu (IGR) - Santiago (SCL)
Salta (SLA) - Santiago (SCL) 

And several to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU):

Bariloche (BRC) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Cordoba (COR) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Iguazu (IGR) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Mendoza (MDZ) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Rosario (ROS) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Salta (SLA) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)

Avianca Argentina  

The Argentine affiliate of the main Colombian carrier, Avianca, had 16 routes approved, all originating in Buenos Aires, that are suitable to the relatively short range of the 12-strong ATR-72-600 fleet that it is in the process of acquiring.  

These include Buenos Aires to Concordia (COC), Rosario (ROS), Santa Fe (SFN) Sunchales (NCJ), Tandil (TDL) and Villa Maria (VMA) plus the Buenos Aires - San Luis (LUQ) - Rio Cuarto (RCU) - Buenos Aires triangle route.  

Points that are a little more distant in Patagonia were also awarded including Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) and Puerto Madryn (PMY).

Avianca Argentina also had two international routes approved; Porto Alegre (POA) and the coveted Buenos Aires - Montevideo (MVD) "Air Bridge". 

The carrier did not request routes out of Tucuman (TUC) related to its subsidy agreement with the province of Tucuman but this is expected to happen in the second round of route audiences to be held in April.  

Alas del Sur

Nearly all of the 21 routes approved for this Chinese-backed airline will be out of a Cordoba (COR) base, Argentina's second-largest city after Buenos Aires, and ideally located for hub operations in the center of the country.  

International routes were also approved for the carrier to Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI), Miami (MIA) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO) with an especially eye-catching route covering Cordoba (COR) - Buenos Aires - Los Angeles (LAX) - Shanghai Pudong (PVG) !   

Andes Lineas Aereas        

This carrier, which has been operating MD-80's from its Salta (SLA) base since 2006, received approval to expand its modest scheduled domestic network to include at least two multi-stop routes:

Buenos Aires - Rosario (ROS) - Resistencia (RES) - Posadas (PSS) - Iguazu (IGR).

Buenos Aires - Santiago del Estero (SDE) - Tucuman (TUC) - Salta (SLA) - Jujuy (JUJ).

It will also add scheduled international flights for the first time, including Buenos Aires - Cordoba (COR) - Lima (LIM) and Buenos Aires - Cordoba (COR) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU).

American Jet     

The Neuquen (NQN)-based charter airline received approval for numerous scheduled flights from Neuquen (NQN) including some international flights.

Highlights include:

Neuquen (NQN) - Rosario (ROS) - Buenos Aires - Punta del Este (PDP)
Neuquen (NQN) - Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - Porto Alegre (POA)
Neuquen (NQN) - Cordoba (COR) - Resistencia (RES) - Asuncion (ASU)

It will be interesting to see what type of aircraft American Jet acquires if it goes ahead with its scheduled flight plans.  The only types of aircraft that it currently operates that are of an airline nature are a single ATR-42 and a few Fairchild Metros. 

Sources:

http://www.infobae.com/economia/2017/02/13/el-gobierno-aprobo-las-rutas-que-pidieron-las-aerolineas-low-cost-para-empezar-a-volar-en-2017/
http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2017/02/se-publicaron-los-resultados-de-la-audiencia-publica/
http://misionesonline.net/2017/02/13/la-anac-autorizo-las-nuevas-rutas-pedidas-por-empresas-aereas-privadas-en-la-audiencia-publica-de-diciembre/
http://aeropuertocordoba.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/luz-verde-para-37-nuevas-rutas-desde.html
http://www.lavoz.com.ar/negocios/cordoba-mas-cerca-de-sumar-37-nuevos-vuelos
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/fb.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/avian.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/alasdelsur.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/andes.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/americanjetsa.pdf
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170223/ACLARACION.pdf

Thursday, March 16, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: ANAC authorizes routes to Flybondi, Avianca Argentina, Alas del Sur, Andes & American Jet - SUMMARY

The ANAC Argentine aviation authority issued five route rights decisions on 13Feb17, one for each applicant; Flybondi, Avianca Argentina, Alas del Sur, Andes Lineas Aereas and American Jet.

Andes has operated regularly scheduled and charter flights in Argentina since 2006 and American Jet has operated charter flights for the oil and mining industries from the carrier's Neuquen (NQN) base and in the north of Argentina for a number of years, but the other carriers would be new start-ups with business plans that call for them to be Low-Cost Carriers (LCC) with Flybondi's management team probably having the strongest backgrounds to launch a true low cost carrier.  Flybondi's principals include CEO Julian Cook (founder and ex-CEO of Swiss carrier FlyBaboo), Ryanair board member and ex-COO Michael Cawley, ex-Air Canada CEO Montie Brewer, and British Airways City Flyer Express founder and ex-chairman Robert Wright.

135 out of the carriers' combined 156 route requests were approved, with four of the five airlines having all of their requests ok'd, with the exception being Flybondi, which wanted more routes than all of the other carriers combined.  It had 78 out of 99 routes approved. 

Now the carriers will have 180 days to demonstrate their technical capacity to start service, including an indication of what types of aircraft they will operate and how many. 

They do not have to start all of the routes immediately.  With the route rights being in effect for 15 years, they can start most of them sometime in the future. Also, international routes will require the approval of the destination countries' aviation authorities for service to start.

The routes were mostly approved on the basis of the following criteria, many of which were determined to protect existing service by Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM Argentina and avoid overcapacity.

* Routes with No Current Service

For example, Flybondi was approved to fly to Santiago (SCL) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) from both Salta (SLA) and Iguazu (IGR), neither of which currently has service to the Chilean and Brazilian airports.  

* Intermediate Stops

The airlines were usually authorized to fly routes with existing service only if at least one intermediate stop is included to avoid competing directly with existing Aerolineas Argentinas' non-stop flights. 

For example, Andes was approved to fly from Buenos Aires to both Lima (LIM) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) but only with a stop in Cordoba (COR) in both cases.

Multiple Legs

Closely related to the principle of intermediate stops, routes with several stops were also favored, again to protect Aerolineas. 

Using another example from Andes:  The carrier was approved to fly Buenos Aires - Rosario (ROS) - Resistencia (RES) - Posadas (PSS) - Iguazu (IGR) instead of the popular non-stop Buenos Aires - Iguazu (IGR) route already flown by Aerolineas and LATAM Argentina. 


* Multiple Legs - At least 50% must be Operated       

The route approvals involving multiple legs may only be operated with at least 50% of the stops being made.  The carriers do not have the option of dropping most of the intermediate points between the end cities. 

* Buenos Aires Airport to be Determined

In all routes including Buenos Aires, the ANAC reserved the right to determine which airport each carrier would use; Aeroparque (AEP), Ezeiza (EZE) or El Palomar (EPA). 

Sources:

http://www.infobae.com/economia/2017/02/13/el-gobierno-aprobo-las-rutas-que-pidieron-las-aerolineas-low-cost-para-empezar-a-volar-en-2017/
http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2017/02/se-publicaron-los-resultados-de-la-audiencia-publica/
http://misionesonline.net/2017/02/13/la-anac-autorizo-las-nuevas-rutas-pedidas-por-empresas-aereas-privadas-en-la-audiencia-publica-de-diciembre/
http://aeropuertocordoba.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/luz-verde-para-37-nuevas-rutas-desde.html
http://www.lavoz.com.ar/negocios/cordoba-mas-cerca-de-sumar-37-nuevos-vuelos
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/fb.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/avian.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/alasdelsur.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/andes.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/americanjetsa.pdf
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170223/ACLARACION.pdf

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of its 10th A330, LV-GKP (c/n 634), on 10Feb17


Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of its 10th A330, LV-GKP (c/n 634), on 10Feb17.

According to the blog Linea ALA, four of Aerolineas' A330's are capable of flying ETOPS (extended range twin operations) from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Rome Fiumicino (FCO), the airline's longest route. 

They are the four A330-202 and 203 models, LV-FVH, LV-FVI, LV-GHQ, LV-GIF, with the four A330-223's, LV-FNI, LV-FNJ, LV-FNK and LV-FNL not authorized for transatlantic flight.  Presumably, two of the most recently delivered A330's, LV-GKO and LV-GKP, being -203 models, will be able to fly transatlantic. 

Sources:

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/novedades-en-aerolineas-argentinas.html
http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/llego-otro-airbus-320-para-latam.html
http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/Aerolineas%20Argentinas-active-a330.htm

Sunday, March 12, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Conviasa, Gol and Qatar Airways Cargo

Conviasa


Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Porlamar (PMV) - eff 07Jan17

Operating 2x/weekly to Porlamar on Venezuela's Margarita Island until the end of the southern hemisphere summer in late March using 747-400, EC-KXN (c/n 25703/1025) leased from the Spanish charter carrier Wamos.  


Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Manaus (MAO) - eff 04Feb17

   Operated 1x/weekly using 737-800's

* Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Belo Horizonte (CNF) - eff 05Mar17

   Operated 1x/weekly using 737-800's

QATAR AIRWAYS CARGO

 * Doha (DOH) - Luxembourg (LUX) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza    (EZE) - Quito (UIO) - Miami (MIA) - Luxembourg (LUX) - Doha (DOH) - eff 02Feb17

   Operated 2x/weekly using 777-200F's

Sources:

http://www.qatarairways.com/qa/en/press-release.page?pr_id=pressrelease_cargodestinations

Thursday, March 9, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: LATAM Argentina adds 15th A320, LV-GUS, to its fleet

LATAM Argentina took delivery of its fifteenth A320-233, LV-GUS (c/n 3556), on 05Feb17.  It is pictured here taxiing at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 07Mar17. (Phil Perry Photo)

The aircraft was originally delivered to LAN Airlines on 19Jul08 as CC-CQP and it went on to fly for LAN Colombia and LATAM Chile until its recent transfer to LATAM Argentina.

Sources:

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/llego-otro-airbus-320-para-latam.html
http://www.airfleets.net/ficheapp/plane-a320-3556.htm

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Photo of Flyest CRJ-200 at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 07Mar17

Photo of Flyest CRJ-200 at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) at 11:30am on the morning of 07Mar17.  The aircraft reportedly arrived at the city airport only an hour earlier at 10:20am from Asuncion (ASU) where it had been parked for over a year.  (Phil Perry Photo)

This plane is presumably LV-GIJ (c/n 7466), which flew with Sol Lineas Aereas in a joint venture with Air Nostrum of Spain that also involved a code-sharing marketing agreement with Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral Lineas Aereas that resulted in the aircraft being painted in Austral colors although with Sol titles. 

The venture only lasted from late 2015 into early 2016 when the change of presidency in Argentina and resulting new management that took over at Aerolineas / Austral quickly put an end to the agreement on January 15, 2016.

Three CRJ-200's had been delivered by Air Nostrum to Argentina by the time of the closure with two being returned to Europe soon after the shutdown but with LV-GIJ being parked in Asuncion (ASU) ever since then. 

Flyest has seemingly "come out of nowhere" while five other carriers participated in the much-publicized late December 2016 public route hearings. 

According to La Nacion newspaper, Flyest will put four CRJ-200's into service between Buenos Aires (Aeroparque?) and Mar del Plata (MDQ), Rosario (ROS), Santa Fe (SFN) and Montevideo (MVD) with flights starting during the next month !  The carrier will reportedly be backed by US$ 45 million from Spanish investors (Air Nostrum, according to the blog Linea Ala) and employ 120 pilots, crew members and other staff. 

Sources:

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/air-nostrum-en-argentina.html
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1990886-llego-el-primer-avion-de-flyest-la-nueva-linea-aerea-que-volara-a-santa-fe-mar-del-plata-y-rosario

Monday, March 6, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Air Europa introduces 787-8 to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Montevideo (MVD)


Air Europa has been introducing the 787-8 aircraft on its routes from Madrid to Latin America, including to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Montevideo (MVD).

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Madrid (MAD) - eff 11Jan17

Route now operated 1x/daily using 787-8's.

Montevideo (MVD) - Madrid (MAD) - eff 23Dec16 - 10Jan17 + 24May17 - 30Jun17

Replacing their usual A330 services with 787-8 on a 3x/weekly basis during the above time periods. 

Sources:

https://aerospotter.blogspot.com.ar/2017/01/air-europa-con-787.html
http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/268313/air-europa-adds-new-boeing-787-routes-in-ns17/
http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/269490/air-europa-dec-2016-jan-2017-montevideo-aircraft-changes/

Saturday, March 4, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerovias DAP introduces new routes between Chile and Argentina

Aerovias DAP


Punta Arenas (PUQ) - Ushuaia (USH) - eff November 2016

Aviacion News indicated back in September that this flight would start operating 2x/weekly in November 2016 using BAe 146-200's and Air Fleets lists the Chilean carrier as having a fleet composed of 2 737-200's and 6 BAe 146-200 / RJ85 / RJ100 but Flight Stats indicates that these segments are operating with DHC-6 Twin Otters with the Aerovias DAP website confirming that they have this aircraft type in their fleet.      

The purpose of this flight is to transport passengers to connect with cruises sailing from Ushuaia on the scenic Beagle Channel.   

Iquique (IQQ) - Jujuy (JUJ) - eff 28Dec16 - 06Mar17

This flight is being operated 2x/weekly with BAe 146-200's during the southern hemisphere summer season. 

Sources:

http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2016/avn160908/avn-160908.html
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2016/avn161208/avn-161208.html
http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/Aerovias%20DAP.htm
https://dapairline.com/aerovias-dap/flota/?lang=es
http://www.flightstats.com/go/Home/home.do

Thursday, March 2, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas continues to retire its 737-700 Fleet

LV-CSC taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 20Jun14. (Phil Perry Photo) 

Aerolineas Argentinas' 737-700's continue to leave its fleet with all of them going to Southwest Airlines in the United States so far, according to airfleets.net.  

The most recent -700 to finish flying with Aerolineas is LV-CSC (c/n 30630/1032) which flew its last commercial flight with the carrier on 25Dec16, Christmas Day.  After undergoing checks and preparations the aircraft flew to the United States on 08Feb17 to join Southwest.   

LV-CSC was delivered to Virgin Blue Airlines on 17Dec01 flying with the carrier and its successor Virgin Australia until joining Aerolineas on 25Feb12.

Aerolineas Argentinas' 737-700 fleet is being replaced with factory-new 737-800's.

Sources:

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/01/uno-viene-otro-se-va.html
http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/novedades-en-aerolineas-argentinas.html
http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/Aerolineas%20Argentinas-history-b737ng.htm
http://www.airfleets.net/ficheapp/plane-b737ng-30630.htm