Saturday, December 5, 2015

Posting will resume in the Next Few Weeks

LAN Argentina A320, LV-CKV (c/n 1568), at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 11Oct15.  The aircraft rejoined the airline's fleet on 01Sep15 after a 10-month hiatus flying for parent airline LAN in Chile. (Phil Perry Photo)    

Dear Readers:

I have been very busy with work the last two months so I have not posted to this blog.  I am not sure when I will resume regular postings because I will be traveling for about a month starting in early January but I would suggest that you check back every couple of weeks for postings that summarize the latest happenings and photos of the Argentine and Uruguayan airline scene. 

Best Wishes,

Phil Perry 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Was Air Class 727-227F CX-CLB delivered ?

The blog Aviacion Civil Uruguaya displayed a photo of Air Class Cargo 727-227F, CX-CLB (c/n 21996/1571), in a posting dated 18Jun15, yet there is no evidence that the aircraft was ever delivered to complement Air Class' other 727-214F, CX-CAR (c/n 21958/1533). Additionally, CX-CLB is listed as being for sale on the following website and the aircraft is reportedly parked in Florida, USA.

Photo on Aviacion Civil Uruguaya:

For Sale listing:

Air Class has reportedly been flying Montevideo (MVD) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Asuncion (ASU) round-trip cargo flights using CX-CAR since 2011.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: LAN Peru to introduce Montevideo (MVD) - Lima (LIM) service on 03Jan16

LAN Peru will start service from Montevideo (MVD) to Lima (LIM) on 03Jan16, five times weekly using A319's. The flights will allow connections through the LATAM group's Lima hub to domestic points in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Central and North America.  

This will be the LATAM group's fifth route from Uruguay, the other four being Montevideo (MVD) to Santiago (SCL), presently operated by LAN, plus Montevideo (MVD) to Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) and both Montevideo (MVD) and Punta de Este (PDP) to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), all three flown by TAM.         

Monday, September 28, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Azul to add Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP) and Porto Alegre (POA) to Punta del Este (PDP) Summer Seasonal Service

Azul Linhas Aereas ERJ-195, PR-AYK (c/n 19000374), at Rio de Janeiro - Santos Dumont (SDU) on 13Aug12.  (Phil Perry Photo)  

Azul Linhas Aereas of Brazil will fly summer seasonal service from Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP) and Porto Alegre (POA) to Punta del Este (PDP), Uruguay, using ERJ-195's and ATR-72's, respectively. The flights will be operated on Thursdays and Sundays, effective 17Dec15 to 14Feb16, with extra sections during the Christmas and Carnival holiday periods. 


Sunday, September 27, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Austral to Receive 23rd and 24th ERJ-190's in November and December

Austral will receive two ERJ-190's, the 23rd and 24th such aircraft in its fleet, from Republic Airways in November and December this year. The aircraft, which are currently parked out of service in Peterborough (YPQ), Ontario, Canada, will be registered LV-GAQ (c/n 19000275) and LV-GBK (c/n 19000291).  They were originally delivered to Republic in 2009 and differ from Austral's standard fleet in that they have 104 seats vs. the rest of the Austral fleet's 96 seats (88 economy and 8 first class) and do not have inflight entertainment systems.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

More Details: Sol Lineas Aereas Marketing Agreement with Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral

Sol Lineas Aereas' first CRJ-200, EC-IVH (c/n 7915), is due to enter service with the carrier on October 18 or 19 on the "Petroleum Route"; Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Rosario (ROS) - Cordoba (COR) - Neuquen (NQN) - Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD), so named because Neuquen and Comodoro Rivadavia are important oil industry centers in Argentina's Patagonia region.   

In addition to serving as a feeder to existing Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral services, Sol will use the six CRJ-200's that it is due to receive in the coming months to fly some of the "thinner" routes that do not have enough traffic to support the use of AR/AU's larger jets plus open up new services, which typically take time to develop for the use of larger aircraft.

The Uruguayan travel blog Portal de America reports that AR/AU has agreed to pay Sol guaranteed fixed rates per block hour of US$ 3,144 for its Saab 340's and US$ 3,885 for its CRJ-200's, which at six hours per day for a 31-day month total US$ 584,784 and US$ 722,610, respectively.  "Portal" contends that this amounts to a subsidy with AR/AU effectively absorbing the Sol operation, but the agreement is similar to arrangements that US carriers have had with their feeders so this would be a matter of debate.


Friday, September 25, 2015

FLEET UPDATE & PHOTO LINK: Andes MD-88, LV-VBX, with Andes titles in old Aerolineas Argentinas colors

Andes Lineas Aereas took delivery of ex-Aerolineas Argentinas MD-88, LV-VBX (c/n 53047/2016) on 28Aug15.  It was photographed that same day with Andes Lineas Aereas titles in the last Aerolineas Argentinas colors worn by the MD-80 series as shown in this link from the excellent Argentine aviation blog Linea ALA:

The aircraft was delivered to Aerolineas Argentinas on 27Aug92 and went on to Austral in 2005 before rejoining Aerolineas in 2010 until its retirement from the Argentine national carrier's fleet on 10Apr12.  

Andes Lineas Aereas has operated approximately a dozen MD-80 series aircraft including two shorter-fuselage MD-87's with three aircraft currently active: LV-WGM (c/n 49784/1627), LV-AYD (c/n 53015/1818), and LV-CCJ (c/n 49621/1495), soon to be joined by LV-VBX and LV-WGN (c/n 49934/1764).

Andes flies a small scheduled domestic network in Argentina covering its home base Salta (SLA), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), and Puerto Madryn (PMY) plus many charters, especially for pro soccer teams, entertainment stars on tour, and school trips to the lake and ski resort of Bariloche (BRC).

LV-VBX at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 06Feb11 when it was still in service with Aerolineas Argentinas. (Phil Perry Photo)


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: First Sol CRJ-200 arrives at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE)

Sol Lineas Aereas' first CRJ-200 arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) yesterday, 21Sep15.  The aircraft is, as identified in a previous post, the ex-Air Nostrum airframe EC-IVH (c/n 7915). It departed Valencia (VLC) Spain on 20Sep15 and routed via Nelson Mandela International Airport (RAI), Santiago Island, Cape Verde plus presumably somewhere in Brazil after crossing the Atlantic.  

Still wearing its Spanish registration, the aircraft will presumably receive an Argentine registration prior to its entry into service in Sol's new role as an Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral feeder airline in October.  Sol is due to receive five more CRJ-200's from Air Nostrum over the next six months. 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

FLEET UPDATE & PHOTO LINK: Sol Lineas Aereas first CRJ-200 Painted in Austral Colors !

The first CRJ-200 that Sol will reportedly take delivery of to start fulfilling its expanded code-share agreement with Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral has appeared painted in Austral colors but with Sol titles and a different tail logo from Aerolineas' sister carrier.  

This was somewhat unexpected as there has been no announcement of a color scheme change.  However, with Sol transforming itself into a feeder carrier for Aerolineas / Austral, it should not be too surprising that the carrier would abandon its "house" colors in favor of the Austral scheme for greater marketing consistency.

The aircraft in question is currently still with Air Nostrum of Spain as EC-IVH (c/n 7915) but is expected to be delivered to Austral on 22Sep15 and enter into service in mid-October. 

Recent photo of the aircraft in Montpellier, France as published by Rwandan Aviation via the excellent Argentine aviation blog Rollout Spotting:

An artist's impression of a CRJ-200 in Sol "house" colors as posted in late August, also from Rollout Spotting:


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: United to fly 787-9's, not 787-8's, between Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) effective 25Oct15

As reported in a posting dated 21May15, United will replace its existing daily non-stop 767-300 service between Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) with 787's, effective 25Oct15.  United will be the fifth airline operating the 787 to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), joining LAN, Avianca, AeroMexico, and American Airlines.  

However, the editor of this blog has since learned that United will fly the longer-fuselage and higher-capacity 787-9 on the route, being only the second carrier to operate the newer variant to EZE, the other being LAN, which upgraded its existing 787-8 service from Santiago (SCL) to the 787-9 on 01Apr15.  United is also the first and so far only US carrier to have taken delivery of the 787-9. 

United's 787-9's have a fuselage length of 186 ft. (56.7 m) and are configured with 48 Business First, 88 Economy Plus and 116 Economy seats for a total capacity of 252 passengers compared to United's 787-8's which measure 206 ft. (62.8 m) long and have 36 Business First, 70 Economy Plus, and 113 Economy seats totaling 219 available seats.  

Nearly all of the additional seats on the 787-9 are premium seats suggesting that the airline is primarily targeting higher-fare passengers for the increased traffic that it anticipates.  


Monday, September 14, 2015

ex-PLUNA Viscount CX-BJA to be restored by the Uruguayan Museum of Aeronautics

Former PLUNA Viscount 827, CX-BJA (c/n 400), on display as a "gate guard" beside the old Montevideo (MVD) terminal in the early 1980's colors that the carrier's three 737-200's, CX-BOO, BOO and BOP were delivered in. (Phil Perry Collection)      

ex-PLUNA Viscount 827, CX-BJA (c/n 400), which was on exhibit for many years at Montevideo (MVD) as a "gate guard" and then stored in the open, is due to be restored by the Uruguayan Museum of Aeronautics in the near future. 

CX-BJA was first delivered to VASP of Brazil as PP-SRF in 1958/1959 where it flew until November 1975 when PLUNA bought it to replace Viscount CX-AQO which was written off after running off the runway at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) earlier that year. CX-BJA flew on PLUNA's route system, mostly the "Air Bridge" linking Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), until it was retired in 1982.  

The aircraft's titles were removed and it was used as a fire trainer until October 1988 when it was decided to preserve the plane.  Although the aircraft was donated to the museum, it was painted in the blue/orange color scheme used by the airline at that time (pictured above) and put on display beside Montevideo's (MVD) old terminal as a "gate guard" in 1991. 

PLUNA's Viscount fleet actually never flew in these colors having instead sported a light blue cheatline scheme (pictured below) with one aircraft, CX-AQO, having its tail painted up in the same lively orange/blue scheme of PLUNA's first 737-200, CX-BHM, that was delivered in 1969.    
PLUNA Viscount 810, CX-BIZ (c/n 316), wearing the airline's standard Viscount color scheme in Montevideo (MVD) in March 1980. (Al Rodriguez Photo, Phil Perry Collection) 

When construction of Montevideo's (MVD) new terminal started in 2004, CX-BJA was moved to a remote location of the airport where it languished decaying from exposure to the elements until it was recently moved near to the museum adjacent to the new terminal.    

The aircraft will be restored, at least to the extent of having its exterior painted, hopefully in the standard PLUNA Viscount colors of the 1960's and 1970's.  Plans are to display it at the Museum of Aeronautics.    

Photos of the move:


Friday, September 11, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: PLUNA CRJ-900 Fleet - All 13 Aircraft - Part 2 of 2

All photos by Blog Editor Phil Perry:

Registration:        CX-CRH
Construction #:    15233
Delivery Date:      03Sep10
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
Stored:               July 2012 as C-GUHF by Bombardier
New Operator:     17Jun13 to Mesa Airlines as N244LR


Registration:        CX-CRI
Construction #:    15234
Delivery Date:      29Sep10
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12, returned to lessor
New Operator:     08May13 to Mesa Airlines as N245LR


Registration:        CX-CRK
Construction #:    15239
Delivery Date:      30Oct10
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
New Operator:     08May13 to Mesa Airlines as N246LR


Registration:        CX-CRL
Construction #:    15273
Delivery Date:      21Sep11
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12, returned to lessor
New Operator:     10Apr13 to Mesa Airlines as N247LR


Registration:        CX-CRM
Construction #:    15274
Delivery Date:      29Oct11
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12, returned to lessor and stored as C-GUHY 
New Operator:     19Jul13 to Mesa Airlines as N248LR


Link to Photo of CX-CRN:

Registration:        CX-CRN
Construction #:    15275
Delivery Date:      19Nov11
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12, returned to lessor 
New Operator:     10Apr13 to Mesa Airlines as N249LR