Friday, March 30, 2012

ROUTE UPDATE: PLUNA started Chilean Domestic Service on 15Mar12

PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRA taxis at Buenos Aires - Aeroparque (AEP) on 17Sep10.

In what may be a first in Latin America and is very rare in most parts of the world (in the sense of a foreign airline operating domestic flights in another country), the Uruguayan airline PLUNA started serving the Chilean domestic market on 15Mar12 with six-weekly Bombardier CRJ-900 flights from the country's capital Santiago (SCL) to Concepcion (CCP) the city with Chile's second most populous metropolitan area located approx. 350 miles (580km) south of Santiago along the Pacific coast.   The new service was made possible by the open skies agreement between Chile and Uruguay.

PLUNA's main competition on the route are LAN and Sky Airlines with 60 and 18 weekly flights, respectively.  The Uruguayan airline's Manager - Sales & Alliances  Roberto de Oliveira Luiz, praised the Chilean aviation competition authorities for making sure that the airline would not be subjected to predatory pricing practices by the existing carriers on the route and cited that as a strong motivation for PLUNA entering the Chilean market.  

Photo: Phil Perry
Info Source:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

PHOTO GALLERY: Learjets at AEP - Part 4 of 4

Learjet 45, LV-CAR, c/n 45-248 on 12Dec10

Learjet 60, LV-CIO, c/n 60-194 on 16Jan11

Learjet 45, LV-BXD, c/n 45-254 on 22Jan11

Learjet 35, LV-BOX, c/n 35-508 on 23Jan11

Baires Fly Learjet 35A, LV-BAW, c/n 35-386 on 29Jan11

Learjet 60, LV-CPL, c/n 60-044, on 11Feb12

Photos:           Phil Perry
Info Sources:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

ROUTE UPDATES: Austral Starting Route Connecting "Internal" Argentine Cities

Austral recently announced that on 01Jun12 it will start two flights similar to the "Corredor Norte" service initiated by sister airline Aerolineas Argentinas on 18Aug10. 

Air transportation in Argentina has traditionally been centered on Buenos Aires with nearly all domestic flights originating or terminating at one of the city's two main airports, Aeroparque or Ezeiza.  However, the introduction of Aerolineas' "Corredor Norte" in 2010 alleviated the inconvenience this caused foreign tourists and travelers from the country's "interior" by offering a circular Buenos Aires-Aeroparque (AEP) - Puerto Iguazu (IGR) - Salta (SLA) - Mendoza (MDZ) - Bariloche (BRC) - Buenos Aires-Aeroparque (AEP) routing.

All of these cities are attractive to tourists with Iguazu's famous falls, Salta's high desert and indigenous culture, Mendoza's wine country, and Bariloche's lake district and skiing areas.   Previously, tourists that wanted to visit two or more of these regions had to backtrack to Buenos Aires to fly to each additional area they wanted to visit.   Aerolineas' flying the "Corredor Norte" twice per week in each direction has made it much easier to visit Argentina's key attractions plus Argentine travelers can also travel more easily within their own country.

The new routes that are similar to the "Corredor Norte" to be introduced by Austral are:

Buenos Aires - Ezeiza (EZE) - Cordoba (COR) - Mendoza (MDZ) - Neuquen (NQN) - Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) on 135 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

Buenos Aires - Ezeiza (EZE) - Cordoba (COR) - Mendoza (MDZ) - Bariloche (BRC) x135 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday).  

Both routes will be flown with the carrier's new EMB-190 fleet.

While Cordoba is not generally a tourist destination for foreigners, it is Argentina's second-largest city so there is a lot of demand going there. Mendoza is an important tourist center as well as being the country's fourth largest city, and both Neuquen and Bariloche are significant tourist destinations in Rio Negro province.   

Instead of being flown as circle routes from Buenos Aires all the way around to Buenos Aires, both flights will be operated to the end point and then flown in the reverse direction back to Buenos Aires in the same day.

Sources: Aerolineas Argentinas Press Release
    via Eric Trum

Thursday, March 22, 2012

PHOTO GALLERY: Learjets at AEP - Part 3 of 4

Salta Provincial Government Learjet 45XR, LV-ARD,
c/n 45-232, lands on 10Oct10.

Bairesfly Learjet 60, LV-CCO, c/n 60-076 taxis on 11Oct10.  

This aircraft skidded off the runway at AEP when it landed during heavy rain after a flight from IGR (Puerto Iguazu) on 23May10.  None of the 11 people on board (9 pax and 2 crew) was hurt but the airport was shut down for four hours and 20 commercial flights diverted to other airports (EZE, MVD and FDO - San Fernando) until the plane was removed.  

Learjet 45, LV-BOU , c/n 45-050 taxis on 28Oct10.
This aircraft is currently for sale:

Baires Fly Learjet 35, LV-ZZF,  c/n 35-049 on 29Oct10.

Learjet 40, LQ-BFS, c/n 45-2003, taxis out on 29Oct10.

All Photos:      Phil Perry
Info Sources:

Friday, March 9, 2012

ROUTE UPDATES: Austral continues International Route Growth replacing Aerolineas Argentinas out of EZE to GRU

Aerolineas Argentinas will discontinue its 4x/week EZE - GRU service on 31May12 to be replaced by Austral on 02Jun12, initially on a one-for-one basis but increasing to daily flights on 01Jul12.

This change will see AU's EMB-190's replacing AR's larger 737-700's but the greater frequency will result in an overall increase in capacity on the route from approx. 560 to 700 seats per week.  

These will be AU's first international flights out of EZE but the airline does fly domestically from there to COR, MDZ, and ROS.  Lately AU's smaller EMB-190's have been increasingly favored over AR 737-700's for new routes (they are both owned by the Argentine government) even as AR takes delivery of more -700's.  

Interestingly the Austral flight will be a very late evening / early morning operation:

EZE-GRU 2210 0155+1 
GRU-EZE 0135 0430

Not very convenient for those departing Brazil ! 

Source: via Eric Trum

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

PHOTO GALLERY: A Different Perspective - AEP Climbout Shots - 14Feb12 - Part 2/2

More climbout shots from February 14 at Aeroparque:

PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRA, with "Garantia de Mejor Precio" (best price guarantee) sticker.

GOL 737-800, PR-GGV

Austral EMB-190, LV-CPJ

SOL Lineas Aereas Saab 340A, LV-BTP


Photos: Phil Perry

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hot New Photo ! ! ! - Austral MD-83 LV-BGZ Sole Example of this Type to appear in New Livery

Check this link for a photo of Austral MD-83 LV-BGZ soon after it came out of the hangar at AEP painted in the carrier's new colors.  It will be the only Austral MD-80 series aircraft to be painted in the new livery as Austral only has four MD-80's left in service and they will be retired in the coming months, including LV-BGZ, now that all of the airline's new Embraer 190's have been delivered.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

PHOTO GALLERY: A Different Perspective - AEP Climbout Shots - 14Feb12 - Part 1/2

Tuesday, February 14 was a beautiful hot and sunny day at Aeroparque.  I had the opportunity to get some interesting climbout shots in the shadow of the small monument at the airport's southeast corner as the planes took off from Runway 13.

Cessna 560XLS Citation Excel, LV-BIB, c/n 560-5696

PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRG (also flew with AeroVIP as LV-BYW)

Austral MD-83, LV-WGM, c/n 49784/1627, one of only four of the MD-80 series still active with the airline. 

LAN Argentina A320, LV-BET, c/n 1854

Learjet 60, LV-CCO, c/n 60-076

Photos: Phil Perry
Info Sources: LAAS International
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