Monday, July 29, 2013

Sol Lineas Aereas looking to receive ex-Air Nostrum CRJ-200's

Sol Lineas Aereas of Rosario, Argentina is reportedly about to lease 3-6 CRJ-200's of the Spanish commuter airline Air Nostrum.  These aircraft have become available because Air Nostrum's feeder contract with Iberia has been cancelled due to Iberia parent company IAG's strategic plans changing. 

Sol will use the aircraft on longer sectors of its existing route network, most of which are to the Patagonia region of southern Argentina where the airline serves 10 different airports.  Some of these sectors are quite long for the carrier's existing fleet of four Saab 340A's and two Saab 340B's.  The faster jet-powered CRJ's will reduce flying time on some legs by as much as an hour.

While some reports indicate that the CRJ-200's will complement the Saabs, others claim that they will gradually replace Sol's older and less-efficient A models.  The Air Nostrum CRJ's that Sol will acquire are on average 12 years old vs. 24 years for the Sol Saabs.     

If the lease goes through, Sol will become the third Argentine airline to operate aircraft of the Canadair CR family with Southern Winds having operated 10 different CRJ-200's in the late 1990's / early 2000's and Andes Lineas Aereas having flown two CRJ-900's in 2010-2011.   

Sources:  Aviacion News 18Jul13

Saturday, July 27, 2013

ROUTE UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas returning to New York after 5-Year Absence

Aerolineas Argentinas announced that it will resume flights to New York-JFK on 15Dec13 more than five years after they cancelled service on the route. 

Flights will be operated non-stop daily between Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and JFK using the carrier's soon-to-be-delivered A330-200's.

Aerolineas has flown to New York off-and-on since at least 1968 when they flew Boeing 707's on the route, sometimes stopping in Rio de Janeiro (GIG). More recently, AR flew 747-200's between EZE and JFK stopping in Miami (MIA) on certain days of the week.  The last such service was in April 2008.

Aerolineas new service comes shortly on the heels of the announcement by United Airlines that they will drop Newark (EWR) - Ezeiza service effective 29Sep13.  

Source: via Eric Trum

Sunday, July 21, 2013

ROUTE UPDATE: United dropping Newark (EWR) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) service effective 29Sep13

United Airlines recently announced that it will discontinue its daily non-stop 767-300 service between Newark (EWR) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), effective 29Sep13.  

Prior to the United merger with Continental, UA used to fly from Washington-Dulles (IAD) to EZE non-stop and CO flew a through-service from Newark (EWR) via Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) to EZE using a 767-200.  After the merger, United discontinued its IAD-EZE flights in favor of making CO's former EWR through-service to EZE nonstop and it continued the IAH-EZE flights.  United will now keep the daily IAH-EZE 767-300 service.  

United cited "lack of demand" for the nonstop flights from the New York area to Buenos Aires. Indeed, Argentine government restrictions on Argentine citizens' access to U.S. dollars plus the reciprocity fee charged to Americans to travel to Argentina have both diminished demand for flights between the two countries pushing any routes of marginal profitability between the US and Argentina into the "red" and that is what might have happened with United's EWR service.  

On the other hand, Delta flew from New York-JFK to EZE nonstop in the 2000's but dropped the route after a couple of years and Aerolineas Argentinas has been in and out of the route (mostly out) during the last decade.  The only airline that has flown from the New York area to EZE non-stop with consistency is American so maybe there is only room for one carrier on this route.  

Although American will once again be the only airline flying this route non-stop, Aerolineas Argentinas is rumored to be thinking of flying one of its newly-delivered A330's to New York starting in December in the wake of United's departure. 

             Aviacion News 18Jul13 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Retired Aerolineas Argentinas 737-200 Painted and Displayed in New Colors

Retired Aerolineas Argentinas 737-200, LV-ZYG, c/n 21795, was recently disassembled "at the airport" (unclear whether it was stored at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) or Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) but probably the latter), trucked to the Tecnopolis fair of Argentine technological achievements, reassembled, and "painted" with stickers in Aerolineas' newest scheme.      

The interesting detail about this is that 737-200's never flew with Aerolineas in the carrier's newest color scheme with the type having been retired from AR service on November 15, 2009, a few months before the introduction of the new colors.      

Tecnopolis is located just outside the northwest border of Buenos Aires with several other aircraft on display there; including a Chinook helicopter, A-4 Skyhawk, Pucara, and the Pulqui I and Pulqui II prototype jet fighters designed and built in Argentina in the late 1940's and early 1950's but that were never mass-produced.

Sources: World Airline News
             Blog editor's personal knowledge 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Andes Lineas Aereas celebrates Seven Years in Service

Andes CRJ-900, LV-CFD, c/n 15064, at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 05Sep10.  The aircraft left the fleet less than a year later. (Phil Perry photo)  

Andes MD-83, LV-BTH, c/n 49952, at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 17Sep10. (Phil Perry photo)

June 20, 2013 marks seven years since the first flight of Andes Lineas Aereas, the privately-owned Argentine airline based in the northwestern city of Salta (SLA).  

Andes currently flies regularly scheduled flights using four MD-80's linking Salta (SLA) with Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Puerto Madryn (PMY) on the Atlantic coast of Patagonia, famous for whale-watching.  

The airline has also flown an extensive charter schedule between various Argentine cities and beach resorts in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Charters currently scheduled for July 2013 include flights from Cordoba (COR) to La Romana (LRN) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Samana (AZS), both in the Dominican Republic.     

The past fleet has included two CRJ-900's that were flown on scheduled services for about a year in 2010/11, an all-metal scheme MD-87, LV-CFJ, c/n 49389 that was originally delivered to Transwede in 1988 and even two Vueling A320's that were flown on wet-lease for a short time in December 2011 / January 2012. 

For complete fleet details see:

Aviacion News 27Jun13:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas, LAN Argentina, GOL & TAM Flights to Bariloche for Ski Season

GOL 737-800's are expected to bring many welcome Brazilian tourists to Bariloche for some skiing this winter. Pictured is PR-GTT at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 16Jan11.  (Phil Perry photo)  

With the start of the winter ski season, flights are on the increase to Bariloche (BRC), mainly for skiing at the nearby Cerro Catedral mountain.

Aerolineas Argentinas will fly to Bariloche (BRC) from:

* Buenos Aires (combination of AEP & EZE?) - 5x/daily on weekdays and  
   7x/daily on weekends 
* Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - 3x/weekly 
* Santiago de Chile (SCL) - 1x/weekly     
* Belo Horizonte (CNF) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Bariloche (BRC) 

Flights will presumably be operated with a mix of 737-700's, 737-800's and Austral ERJ-190's, but the occasional widebody might be flown in too. 

LAN Argentina will fly there from:

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - 5x/daily on weekdays, 10x on Saturdays and 9x on Sundays, with A320's.   

GOL & TAM are expected to fly 120 charters to Bariloche (BRC) from various Brazilian cities between July and September carrying some 20,000 Brazilian tourists, presumably with a mix of 737-700's, 800's and A319/320/321's respectively but TAM might bring in widebodies too. 


Aviacion News 27Jun13:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

HISTORICAL PHOTO: Orion Aviacion Let L-410, LV-WYV

Orion Aviacion Let L-410, LV-WYV, c/n 912603, at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) presumably sometime during 1997/98.  (Phil Perry collection)

This Czech-built small airliner is a workhorse of a plane that is much more common inside the former Soviet bloc than outside.  The pictured example is perhaps the only L-410 to ever have appeared on the Argentine register.  

LV-WYV was originally delivered to Aeroflot in 1991 as CCCP-67673 and after several years it passed on to Orion Aviacion of Argentina.  Orion operated the aircraft during 1997/98 between Concepcion del Uruguay (CDU) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on a twice-daily schedule in both directions with morning and evening departures timed to suit business travelers seeking to do a day trip without overnights in either city.  The concept was sound over the nearly 200-mile route but the service lasted only a short time.  

This aircraft went on to fly for a couple more carriers but it ended its flying career in a crash while operating for Central American Airways of Honduras as HR-AUQ.  It crashed near Cerro de Hula while flying from San Pedro Sula (SAP) to Tegucigalpa (TGU) with the loss of all 14 people on board.  Cause of the crash was undetermined.          


Historias Individuales:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

FLEET UPDATE: SOL Lineas Aereas to Add Two Saab 340's for New Routes & Increased Frequencies

SOL Lineas Aereas Saab 340A, LV-BEX, c/n 14, presently stored, is pictured at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 20Sep10.  (Phil Perry photo)   

SOL is planning to add two Saab 340's to its existing fleet of four 340A's and two 340B's in the second half of this year.  The airline lost a 340 in an accident in 2011 and has another one, LV-BEX, in storage per 

The Rosario-based regional airline reports 20% growth recently, presumably partly due to its codeshare agreement with Aerolineas Argentinas on certain key routes.  SOL flies to Buenos Aires Aeropaqrue (AEP) plus several secondary routes in Argentina, including non-stop flights between cities that would otherwise require flying east to Buenos Aires to make a connection.  

Among the carrier's route plans are strengthening its presence in Patagonia through mini-hubs in Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) and Neuquen (NQN), restarting its Rosario (ROS) - Cordoba (COR) - Tucuman (TUC) and Rosario (ROS) - Montevideo (MVD) routes (3x/weekly) plus adding a frequency between Cordoba (COR) and Montevideo (MVD).     


Aviacion News 20Jun13:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

ROUTE UPDATE: BQB Plans Service to Santiago de Chile on 01Oct13 using an A320

BQB Lineas Aereas plans to start service from Montevideo (MVD) to Santiago (SCL) on 01Oct13 using the A320 that it is scheduled to have received by then.  

BQB would be going up against a formidable competitor in LAN with twice-daily flights using A319's and A320's but the Uruguayan airline's commercial director, Pablo Triunfo, claims that BQB would not compete directly with LAN, instead targeting markets such as Uruguayans and Chileans traveling on weekends or vacations to each other's countries.  Indeed, this kind of traffic would fit in with the larger marketing strategy of BQB's parent company, Buquebus, of selling travel packages to the public, especially those that use the airline's flights and Buquebus ferry services, the latter being the company's core business.      

Aviacion News 27Jun13:

Friday, July 5, 2013

747-8 visits Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) for First Time

An Atlas Air 747-8F, reportedly N854GT, c/n 37566, visited Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Santiago de Chile (SCL) in early June while operating for Etihad Cargo.  It was the first visit of this type to these two airports.  50 747-8's have been delivered so far, including 35 of the freighter version and 15 passenger aircraft. 


Aviacion News 13Jun13:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PLUNA successor Alas-U to use 3 CRJ-900's per agreement between Uruguayan Government & ex-PLUNA Workers

After many negotiations during the last few months, the Uruguayan government and the ex-PLUNA workers that plan to start the PLUNA successor airline Alas-U, have agreed that the new airline will use three of the remaining seven ex-PLUNA CRJ-900's that have been parked unused for almost a year at Montevideo (MVD).  The other four aircraft will be sold.

The government, which is responsible for payments on the aircraft, will give the PIT-CNT labor union a three year grace period to pay the US$ 46 million cost of the planes.  As anticipated, the FONDES government development fund will provide US$ 15 million in seed-funding to Alas-U, which is expected to start flying before the end of the year in time for the southern hemisphere summer high season from Montevideo (MVD) to such destinations as Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Cordoba (COR), Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), Porto Alegre (POA), Curitiba (CWB), Santiago de Chile (SCL) and Asuncion (ASU).  

One concern about the new start-up has been that the former PLUNA CRJ-900's would be subject to impoundment by legal authorities in neighboring countries formerly served by PLUNA where former workers of the airline are pursuing lawsuits against the defunct carrier.  Law firms retained by the Uruguayan government assessed the risk of the aircraft being impounded as "high".  Seeking to avoid this, the Alas-U employees will try to convince the labor unions representing former PLUNA employees in other countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, not to pursue legal action against Alas-U as that would only hurt fellow laborers.  Most recently, the idea was to return all seven CRJ-900's to Bombardier and acquire a few CRJ-700's or -900's to replace them as a means of avoiding aircraft embargoes but that plan has apparently been discarded. 


El Observador Uruguay 28Jun13, 24Jun13:

Aviacion News 16May13:

Monday, July 1, 2013

FLEET UPDATE: Austral to Receive 2 Additional Embraer E-190AR's

News from April when this blog's editor was away traveling:

Austral ordered two more Embraer ERJ-190AR's from the manufacturer in April for delivery in October and November of this year bringing its fleet of the type to 22 aircraft.  The airline wanted to order four new 190's in all but was not able to obtain sufficient credit from the National Development Bank of Brazil.   

The first order for 20 aircraft was clouded in controversy as the contract price was US$ 34.9 million per example while analysts estimated that the planes, as equipped, should have cost approx. US 28.5 million, suggesting that there might have been kickbacks involved.    

Austral's 190's are furnished with 88 economy class and 8 business class seats and are the Advanced range versions capable of flying non-stop from Buenos Aires to any airport in Argentina plus important foreign destinations, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, both in Brazil. 


World Airline News 09Apr13:

Aviacion News 11Apr13:

Aviacion News 13Jun13: