Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas & Austral New Routes & More Flights - OVERVIEW

Aerolineas Argentinas and sister carrier Austral Lineas Aereas are in the process of adding new service, mostly on domestic routes in Argentina.

The airlines are pursuing a three-pronged route strategy:

1) More Domestic Feeder Flights to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) Hub 

Aerolineas and Austral plan to increase feeder flights from the "interior" of Argentina to their Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) international hub, thereby strengthening their South American and intercontinental networks.

2) More Direct Flights between Argentine Cities without connecting through Buenos Aires

Traveling from one city to another in Argentina usually involves connecting through Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), which can be very inconvenient, when flying between two northern cities, for example.  Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral have been seeking to alleviate this situation with new point-to-point flights within Argentina.

3) Cordoba (COR) and Rosario (ROS) "Focus Cities"

Special emphasis for new service between "interior" points is being placed on Cordoba (COR), Argentina's second-largest city with 1.2 million people, and Rosario, Argentina's third-largest city with a population of 900,000.

Cordoba (COR) has substantial international service, including to Santiago (SCL), Lima (LIM), Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Panama City (PTY) but, until recently, has had little point-to-point domestic service other than to the Buenos Aires airports.   

Rosario also has significant international service, including to Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) with new service due to be added to Lima (LIM) by LAN Peru and Panama City (PTY) by COPA shortly.  However, as with Cordoba, most of Rosario's Argentine domestic flights were to Buenos Aires, until recently. 

Between new service added in recent months and also to be added in the near future, both Cordoba (COR) and Rosario (ROS) will have much more nonstop point-to-point service than at any time in recent years. 

Three more posts will follow this one in the coming days outlining specific route additions and frequency increases. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

FLEET UPDATE: Austral's 23rd ERJ-190, LV-GAQ, arrived at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 16Apr16

Austral Lineas Aereas' 23rd ERJ-190, LV-GAQ (c/n 275), flew from San Jose (SJO) Costa Rica via Lima (LIM) to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 16Apr16.   

The aircraft underwent nearly three months of maintenance and modification work at the Costa Rican MRO COOPESA, including installation of the "latest updates" (software?), inspection and testing of engines and other systems, and application of Spanish-language labels and signage throughout the plane.  LV-GAQ had also undergone some work at the Griffiss International Airport (RME) in Rome, New York after leaving the Republic Airways fleet, its previous operator. 

LV-GAQ (c/n 275), was originally due to be delivered to Baboo Airlines of Switzerland, registered as HB-JQI and was even seen being prepared for delivery that way on 15May09.  However, the Swiss carrier did not take the aircraft and it went instead to Republic Airways on 27Aug09 where it flew as N164HQ in the colors of Republic subsidiaries Midwest Connect and Frontier Airlines until it was stored in November 2015.           

LV-GAQ is the first used ERJ-190 to join the Austral fleet with all 22 previous aircraft entering the fleet having been delivered directly from the factory. Another former Republic ERJ-190, LV-GBK (c/n 291) is due to join Austral shortly.  


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas has taken delivery of four new 737-800's since October 2015

LV-FXQ taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on the late summer morning of 17Mar16.  (Phil Perry Photo) 

LV-GGK taxis in at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) later the same morning.  (Phil Perry Photo) 

Aerolineas Argentinas has taken delivery of four factory-new 737-800's since October 2015. 

737-8MB, LV-FXQ (c/n 43881/5539) first flew on 05Aug15 with Aerolineas formally taking delivery of the aircraft on 19Aug15.  It arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) from San Salvador (SSA) on its delivery flight on 23Oct15. It is on lease from ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China).

737-8MB, LV-FYK (c/n 43882/5546) first flew on 15Aug15 with Aerolineas formally taking delivery of the aircraft on 28Aug15.  It arrived in Argentina on 31Oct15 and is also on lease from ICBC 

737-8SH, LV-GFQ (c/n 41338/5735) first flew on 07Jan16 with the aircraft arriving at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on its delivery flight on 23Jan16.  It is on lease from Air Lease Corporation. 

737-8SH, LV-GGK (c/n 41339/5774) first flew on 05Feb16 with the aircraft departing Boeing Field (BFI) in Seattle to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 17Feb16 via Caracas (CCS) arriving in Argentina the following day, 18Feb16.  It is also on lease from Air Lease Corporation. 

With these deliveries, Aerolineas Argentinas has a 40-strong fleet of 737NG's, comprised of 18 737-700's and 22 737-800's.  More 737-800 deliveries are scheduled while 737-700 retirements will continue.  


Sunday, April 10, 2016

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas returned four 737-700's to lessor GECAS in late 2015 / early 2016

LV-CBG at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 15Aug14, approximately one year before it left AR's fleet.  (Phil Perry Photo)

LV-CAM at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 20Sep10.  (Phil Perry Photo)

LV-CBS at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 20Sep10.  (Phil Perry Photo)

LV-CCR taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 22Jan11, a beautiful sunny summer day.  (Phil Perry Photo)

Aerolineas Argentinas returned four 737-700's (all pictured above) to lessor GECAS in late 2015 and early 2016.

All are 737-73V models that were delivered to EasyJet in 2000/2001 passing on to Aerolineas Argentinas in 2009/2010 and all four have been or will be delivered soon to Southwest Airlines of the USA.  Aerolineas will be returning many 737-700's to lessors as they come off lease in the next couple of years with a total of ten of them going to Southwest.  

Return flight details:

LV-CBG (c/n 30235/672) left the airline's fleet on its return flight to the USA on 10Nov15 where it was stored for a couple of months prior to delivery to Southwest Airlines on 08Jan16 as N7838A.  
LV-CAM (c/n 30243/919), departed Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 30Nov15. GECAS will reportedly deliver the aircraft to Southwest Airlines registered as N7839A soon.

LV-CBS (c/n 30236/715), departed Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 17Dec15 and was delivered by GECAS to Southwest Airlines on 29Jan16 as N7840A.

LV-CCR (c/n 30237/730), left Argentina on 29Jan16 and will join Southwest as N7842A soon.

Al of the delivery flights apparently followed a Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Caracas (CCS) - Miami (MIA) - Boeing Paine Field (PAE) routing. 


Sunday, February 28, 2016

PHOTO: Lufthansa 747-8I at Buenos Aires - Ezeiza on 09Feb16

Lufthansa 747-830, D-ABYQ (c/n 37840/1503), rests at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) Terminal C on 09Feb16 after arrival from Frankfurt (FRA).  (Phil Perry Photo)

Lufthansa German Airlines has taken delivery of all 19 examples of the passenger version of the 747-8 that it ordered, Boeing's latest version of its nearly half-century old 747 Jumbo Jet.

15 airlines have ordered a total of 121 747-8's with 102 delivered so far, including 39 of the 51 747-8I passenger version on order and 63 of the 70 747-8F freighter version bought by the airlines.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: LAN Argentina A320, LV-CKV, rejoined the carrier's fleet

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)