Tuesday, April 14, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: Argentine Fairchild Metros - #9 of 20+ - LV-WAG (c/n AC-543B)

Alas Rionegrinas Fairchild Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III, LV-WAG (c/n AC-543B) at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) in May 1996. (Phil Perry Collection)  

LV-WAG was originally built as a Merlin in 1982 and converted to Metro standard in 1987.  

Originally delivered to Volkswagen in 1983 as a corporate aircraft registered as D-CKVW, the aircraft went on to fly for German regional airlines Bat-Air Flugdienst, Nurnberger Flugdienst and Eurowings before finding its way to Argentina in 1993 where it was registered as LV-WAG flying for SAPSE (Servicios Aereos Patagonicos) dba Alas Rionegrinas until the airline's demise in 1997.    
The aircraft was stored along with the rest of the Alas Rionegrinas fleet in a hangar at Viedma (VDM), Rio Negro in Patagonia along the Atlantic coast where it still stands today in a state of disrepair as seen in this photo from Linea ALA & Rollout:

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2014/12/abandonadas-alas-rionegrinas.html       

Sources:

http://loudandclearisnotenought.blogspot.com.ar/2010/11/lv-wag-fairchildswearingen-sa-226-metro.html
http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2014/12/abandonadas-alas-rionegrinas.html
http://aerospotter.blogspot.com.ar/2012/12/pretenden-recuperar-la-flota-de-sapse.html

Saturday, April 11, 2015

LAN Airlines has been flying the 787-9 between Santiago (SCL) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) since 01Apr15

LAN Airlines reportedly put the first two 787-9's that it has taken delivery of so far, CC-BGA (c/n 35317/259) on 05Feb15 and CC-BGB (c/n 35318/276) on 25Mar15, into service on 01Apr15 from Santiago (SCL) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Lima (LIM), both routes with one daily round trip. Los Angeles (LAX) is due to start on 15Apr15 with Ezeiza flights being reduced to 3x/weekly in July. Additional routes for the 787-9 will include Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), Easter Island (IPC), New York Kennedy (JFK), Madrid (MAD), and Frankfurt (FRA) by the end of the year.   

Photos of CC-BGA and CC-BGB:



Sources

Saturday, April 4, 2015

BQB Lineas Aereas to Suspend Operations on April 11

BQB recently announced that it would suspend operations on April 11. The Uruguayan airline started flying in May 2010 as a subsidiary of Buquebus, which operates the main ferry services between Argentina and Uruguay, having a virtual monopoly on the route.       

The carrier had grown by early 2014 to operate 4 ATR-72-200's; CX-JCL (c/n 805), CX-JPL (c/n 816), CX-POS (c/n 636) and CX-LFL (c/n 570) plus an A320 leased from Spanish carrier Vueling, EC-LLJ (c/n 4661) from Montevideo (MVD) to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Asuncion (ASU), Paraguay and various Brazilian points. BQB also took delivery of a leased A319 in May 2014, CX-SAN (c/n 1703), which reportedly never entered service.  

However, signs of financial difficulties appeared in August 2014 when it briefly failed to make payments to the IATA clearinghouse with more significant problems being signaled by the cancellation of services to the Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre (POA), Curitiba (CWB) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), all in September. In addition, the airline returned one of its ATR-72-200's, CX-LFL (c/n 570) to the Toulouse, France headquarters of the aircraft's manufacturer, Aerospatiale, in February 2015. 

BQB started operations in May 2010 with domestic flights from Montevideo (MVD) to Salto (STY), Uruguay followed by service between Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Punta del Este (PDP), Uruguay but sought to expand and fill the void left by PLUNA when the latter carrier shut down operations in June 2012.  However, the Argentine authorities never allowed BQB to establish a major presence on the lucrative Montevideo (MVD) - Aeroparque (AEP) route, being limited to two daily frequencies. In addition to the airline's domestic flights to Salto (STY), it also flew to Rivera (RVY), Uruguay but abandoned both routes due to poor loads.           

As it now wraps up services, BQB is down to two ATR-72-200's and 2x/daily flights from Montevideo (MVD) to Aeroparque and 5x/weekly to Asuncion (ASU).

Factors in the airline's decision to close include conflict with the Uruguayan government over BQB's controversial role in the failed late 2012 attempt to auction off the seven company-owned ex-PLUNA CRJ-900's plus the imminent start-up of Alas Uruguay with 737-300's.

Rumor has it that BQB's operation might still be salvaged in the form of a purchase by the privately-owned Bolivian airline, Amaszonas, which is seeking to expand in the region.       

Sources:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas starts several new routes: Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - Calafate (FTE) /// Cordoba (COR) - Tucuman (TUC) /// Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Corrientes (CNQ)

Aerolineas Argentinas is adding new routes as it continues to take delivery of new A330-200's and 737 NG's.  

Cordoba, Argentina's second-largest city with a population of 1.3 million and
located in the center of the country is seeing service to three new destinations, the previously posted Miami (MIA) plus El Calafate (FTE) and Tucuman (TUC). 

Traditionally, passengers from the Argentine "Interior" have had to connect via Buenos Aires to get to anywhere else in the country but this has been slowly changing in recent years, first with the addition of "Corredores" which are circle routes connecting several cities to each other and more recently point-to-point routes such as those described in this posting. 

Specific new Aerolineas routes include:

* Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - Calafate (FTE)  

This service apparently started on 01Jan15 from Cordoba (COR) non-stop to Calafate (FTE) 3x/weekly with Rosario (ROS) non-stop to Calafate (FTE) starting on 02Mar15.  However, they were both apparently combined into a Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - Calafate (FTE) 6x/weekly through-flight more recently, possibly due to the end of the summer tourist season (Calafate is the location of the world-famous Perito Moreno Glacier).  

* Cordoba (COR) - Tucuman (TUC)

Service started on 10Mar15, operated by Austral Embraer 190's 3x/weekly. 

* Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Corrientes (CNQ)

Starting on 02May15, 6x/weekly flown by Aerolineas Argentinas 737-700's and Austral Embraer 190's.  

Sources:

  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas to restart Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA) service after 16 years effective 04Jul15

Aerolineas Argentinas is scheduled to restart flights between Cordoba (COR) and Miami (MIA) 2x/weekly on Saturdays and Sundays using A340-300's, effective 04Jul15. The airline last flew the route 4x/weekly with 747-200's in January 1999.  

With this new service Aerolineas will fly from Argentina to the USA 23x/weekly, 14x from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Miami (MIA), 7x from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to New York Kennedy (JFK) and 2x from Cordoba (COR) to Miami (MIA).

Sources:

http://airlineroute.net/2015/03/19/ar-cormia-jul15/ via Eric Trum
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2015/avn150319/avn-150319.html

Sunday, March 22, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Third ex-PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRG (c/n 15209), departs Montevideo (MVD) to Canada

Former PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRG (c/n 15209), at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 29Jan11. (Phil Perry Photo) 

The third of seven former company-owned PLUNA CRJ-900's, CX-CRG (c/n 15209) departed Montevideo (MVD) on March 17 wearing registration C-GMXH flying to Canada for delivery to Skyservice Business Aviation. The aircraft will reportedly go on to Go Jets / Delta Connection along with the other six former company-owned PLUNA aircraft for the operation of feeder flights to Delta's hubs from secondary cities.

CX-CRG joins CX-CRC (c/n 15175) and CX-CRF (c/n 15204) both of which already departed to Canada.  

Photo of CX-CRG wearing registration G-GMXH as it prepared to leave Montevideo (MVD):  

http://aeronavescx.blogspot.com.ar/2015/03/partio-hoy-otro-crj-900-de-la-ex-pluna.html

Source:

http://aeronavescx.blogspot.com.ar/2015/03/partio-hoy-otro-crj-900-de-la-ex-pluna.html     

Friday, March 20, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of its first factory-new A330-200, LV-FVH, on February 28

Aerolineas Argentinas' first factory-new Airbus A330-200, LV-FVH (c/n 1605), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on its delivery flight on February 28. This is the first of four A330-200's ordered by Aerolineas directly from Airbus in February 2013. Its delivery was delayed by financing issues which are also expected to delay the delivery of the other three A330-200's on order. Other Airbus aircraft types that Aerolineas has operated include the A310 and A320 plus the A340 which the airline is in the process of retiring but still has seven of. This is the first factory-new widebody aircraft for Aerolineas since it took delivery of two 747-200's from Boeing in 1979. 

LV-FVH will be deployed from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Miami (MIA), New York Kennedy (JFK), and eventually to Madrid (MAD) when the aircraft is certified for ETOPS (Extended-Range Twin Engine Operations) the first such transatlantic twin-engine flights by the Argentine carrier. It joins four other A330-200's in the Aerolineas fleet that are on lease from International Lease Finance Corp.

Sources: