Sunday, December 7, 2014

BQB Lineas Aereas Cutting Back Services, Laying Off Workers & Reducing Fleet

BQB Lineas Aereas, which as recently as the first half of 2014 was planning to increase service, has cancelled expansion plans and sharply reduced existing services.

The airline, based in Montevideo (MVD), was flying a leased A320 followed by a leased A319 to Santiago (SCL), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Rio de Janeiro (GIG) earlier this year but now has canceled these routes and apparently returned the A319 to the lessor.  In addition, BQB has sold two of its four ATR-72-212A's though the editor of this blog has not been able to confirm which ones. 55 staff have been laid off (made redundant) and all Brazilian routes canceled including Porto Alegre (POA) and Curitiba (CWB). 

The airline is currently only flying the services that it started out with, such as its most important route, Montevideo (MVD) to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) plus Montevideo (MVD) to Asuncion (ASU) and domestic flights to Rivera (RVY) and Salto (STY).  

BQB claims that the reductions are not as a result of financial difficulties but are necessary measures to adjust to changes in the marketplace.  However, IATA (International Air Transport Association) suspended the airline for a time in August from its ticket clearinghouse whereby funds collected by airlines on behalf of other carriers on common tickets are redistributed to the operating carrier.  This would suggest that BQB was retaining funds that it should have forwarded to IATA.  This situation appears to have since been resolved but the editor of this blog has no confirmation of that. 

Separately, the Uruguayan Civil Aviation Direcorate (DINACIA) is investigating a tail-strike incident involving a BQB ATR-72-212A in Salto (STY) on 09Dec11 that went unreported. 



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