Friday, January 31, 2014

FLEET UPDATE: Austral takes delivery of Two New Embraer 190's

Austral received its 21st and 22nd Embraer 190's in September and October. 

Embraer 190AR, LV-FPS, c/n 639, was delivered on 27Sep13 wearing Skyteam colors:

Embraer 190AR, LV-FPT, c/n 640, was delivered on 25Oct13. 

Austral now has 22 Embraer 190's in its fleet comprised of 20 aircraft received between September 2010 and October 2011 plus the two recent deliveries. Austral flies them in an 8-seat business class and 88 economy-class configuration on domestic flights in Argentina plus on some regional services, mostly to Brazil.  


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

PHOTO GALLERY: Argentine Fokker F-28's - #1 of 10+ - Armada Argentina 5-T-20 (c/n 11145)

Armada Argentina (Argentine Navy) F-28 Mk-3000C, 5-T-20 (c/n 11145) parked at an unknown airport in November 1994.  (Phil Perry Collection) 

The Fokker F-28 has enjoyed much popularity in Argentina, mostly with the government and military, with some 17 airframes having flown in the country according to the excellent Argentine aviation blog "Historias Individuales".   

These have included 12 Mk-1000's, 3 Mk-3000's and 2 Mk-4000's.  Eight are reportedly still in service, six with the military and two as government VIP transports.  According to Wikipedia, the Argentine military/government currently have the largest fleet of F-28's in the world with all other remaining aircraft operating in fleets of one or two examples, mostly in military service. 

Argentina Aviation News, Photography & Spotting will produce a series of posts featuring photos and short histories of several of these aircraft in the coming months.  

The pictured aircraft above was delivered directly by Fokker to the Argentine Navy on 05Apr79 where it was based in the military section of Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport (EZE) operating in the "2nd Naval Air Squadron for Mobile Logistical Support".  As far as the editor of this blog can tell, the aircraft is still in service today and has flown its entire career with the navy, interestingly with the exception of a short stint when it was leased to a company called Charter Fly from 1992-94 during which it was temporarily given the civilian registration LV-RRA.

The aircraft has a large cargo door on its port side (see photo in link below) and is presumably operated in an all-cargo or passenger/cargo combi configuration, especially given its role as a logistical transport.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Delta 767-300 diverts to Montevideo (MVD) after apparent Lightning Strike on Wing

Delta Air Lines 767-332ER, N191DN (c/n 28448/654) flying from Atlanta (ATL) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) encountered heavy turbulence while on final approach to EZE on the morning of Tuesday, January 21 resulting in the aircraft diverting to Montevideo (MVD).

As the aircraft closed in on Ezeiza International Airport, the captain of the Delta flight announced to passengers that the last 15 minutes of the flight would be "bumpy".  The sky grew darker and the turbulence heavier and the aircraft abruptly broke off its approach climbing sharply into the sky.   Soon after, the captain came on the loudspeaker and announced to passengers that the flight would be diverting to Montevideo (MVD).  

Some thirty minutes later the aircraft landed at the Uruguayan airport but passengers were held on board for three hours as Delta is not authorized to operate to Uruguay and has no staff there of its own.  Arrangements were finally made for the processing of passengers and they were taken off the 767-300 into a lounge area but another three hours passed before they were transferred to downtown hotels.   

Delta sent another 767 to pick up the stranded passengers and fly them to Buenos Aires that evening.

It became evident at some point of the 767-300's flight, either on approach to EZE or en route to MVD, that the right wing's leading edge just outboard of the engine was damaged somewhat significantly, either through impact with an object (such as a bird) or a lightning strike.  Some passengers reported seeing "sparks" come from the affected area while on approach to EZE.  It is also not clear if the flight crew declared the emergency while still on approach to EZE, after the aborted approach, or enroute to Montevideo (MVD).

To the knowledge of the editor of this blog, this is the first time that a Delta aircraft has landed in Montevideo (MVD).  The diversion airport for most flights from the United States to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) is usually Cordoba (COR) located some 400 miles (650 km) northwest of Buenos Aires in central Argentina although Montevideo (MVD) is occasionally used too.  

The following is a photo of the damaged wing:


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas orders 10 737-800's with Options on 10 More

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-800, LV-CTB, (illustrated above at Aeroparque in October 2012) might be joined by many more "800" models in the coming years. (Phil Perry Photo)

A piece of news from late October while the editor of this newsletter was traveling: 

Aerolineas Argentinas signed a "Letter of Intent" with Boeing for the acquisition of 10 737-800's with options for 10 more for delivery between 2016-2018.  The firm order was scheduled to be signed in 60 days, around the date of this writing, but no further news has been forthcoming. 

Aviacion News quotes the list price of the 737-800 at US$ 89.1 million but indicates that the type typically sells for far less to volume customers; possibly as little as US$ 42 million.  

The publication also asks if these aircraft will replace existing 737NG's from the Aerolineas fleet or will be added for new service.  With most of Aerolineas' current 737NG's being quite young and with many on lease for well beyond the delivery dates of those of the new order, it would seem that the new order will be mostly for new service. 

Editor's Comment:

If the 20 new 737-800's will indeed be for new service, that is a lot of growth in a short time. Could Aerolineas have ambitions of monopolizing the Argentine domestic market ?         


Sunday, January 19, 2014

PHOTO GALLERY: Argentine Fairchild Metros - #3 of 20+ - LV-AOP (c/n AC-460)

Transportes Aereos Neuquen Fairchild Swearingen SA-227AC Metro III, LV-AOP, (c/n AC-460) reportedly at Rio Gallegos (RGL) Argentina in June 1996.  (Phil Perry Collection) 

This aircraft first flew in June 1981 with Fairchild registration N3029F and was delivered to the Provincia de Neuquen government on 21Dec81 with the LV-AOP registration that it was apparently to wear throughout its service life.  It was transferred to Transportes Aereos Neuquen on 04Aug94 for which it flew until being stored in Neuquen (NQN) in western Argentina in 2000. 

LV-AOP was last seen in Sao Paulo Congonhas (CGH) on 19Jul10 where it was photographed parked in a hangar which had belonged to the defunct Brazilian carrier VASP.  


Thursday, January 16, 2014

ROUTE UPDATES: BQB adds Service from Montevideo (MVD) to Santiago (SCL), Curitiba (CWB), Florianopolis (FLN), & Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)

BQB Lineas Aereas is expanding in leaps and bounds out of its Montevideo (MVD) base with the following new service added out of the Uruguayan capital as 2013 came to a close:

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE): 
Increase 5x to 7x weekly with ATR-72, effective 28Oct13

Florianopolis (FLN): 
1x/week (Saturday) with A320, effective 14Dec13 

Santiago (SCL): 
Daily with A320, effective 15Dec13

Curitiba (CWB)
4x/week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) with ATR-72 effective 16Dec13

Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
With A320/ATR-72, effective 26Dec13

Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG): 
1x/week (Sunday) with A320, effective 04Jan14

Sources: via Eric Trum

Monday, January 13, 2014

PHOTO GALLERY: Argentine Fairchild Metros - #2 of 20+ - LQ-MLV (c/n TC-257-208)

Fairchild Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II, LQ-MLV, (c/n TC-257-208) at the Museo Nacional de Aeronautica in Moron, Provincia de Buenos Aires on 10Oct12.  (Phil Perry Photo) 

This aircraft first flew in June 1978 wearing registration N5462M being delivered to the Argentine Direccion de Emergencias Nacionales as LQ-MLV on 11Dec78.  It apparently flew in the MEDEVAC role until the early 2000's and was airworthy as recently as 2009 but joined the aircraft on display at the National Aviation Museum in Moron in 2010 where it has been ever since.     


Friday, January 10, 2014

PHOTO GALLERY: Argentine Fairchild Metros - #1 of 20+ - AE-180 (c/n AT-071E-253)

Ejercito Argentino (Argentine Army) Fairchild Swearingen SA226-AT Merlin IVA, AE-180 (c/n AT-071E-253) at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) in March 2000. (Phil Perry Collection)

The Fairchild / Swearingen Metro family of aircraft is the most popular 19-seater aircraft type to have flown in Argentina with at least 53 airframes having served in the country, according to the excellent Argentine aviation blog "Historias Individuales".  Argentina Aviation News, Photography & Spotting will produce a series of posts featuring photos and short histories of 23 of these aircraft in the coming months.     

This aircraft first flew in 1979 as N5656M and was delivered directly to the Argentine Army in May of that year which gave it the military registration of AE-180.  It has always flown for this same operator with at least one of its roles being as a MEDEVAC aircraft equipped with 6 stretchers or facilities for one patient requiring intensive care and accompanying medical crew.  It is still in service today. 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral Announce Many New Routes & Service Changes for late 2013 / early 2014

Aerolineas Argentinas and sister carrier Austral Lineas Aereas have announced the addition of many new routes and changes to service as the combined carriers continue to take delivery of many aircraft to their fleets:

From Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE):

Ushuaia (USH):
Aerolineas Argentinas started operating its first A330-223, LV-FNI, to this city located in the southern province of Tierra del Fuego in late October despite a disagreement with its pilots over pay scales for the new type in the airline's fleet.

New York Kennedy (JFK):
Aerolineas Argentinas resuming service after five years' absence with daily A330-200's, effective 15Dec13 

Punta Cana (PUJ):
Aerolineas Argentinas 2x weekly (Tuesday & Saturday) summer charters with A340-300, effective 04Jan14-08Mar14

Miami (MIA):
Aerolineas Argentinas replacing A340-300's with A330-200's daily effective 01Mar14 going to 2x/daily, effective 01Apr14

Sydney (SYD):
Aerolineas Argentinas cancelling 3x/weekly A340-300 service, effective 02Apr14

Barcelona (BCN):
Aerolineas Argentinas increasing from 5x/weekly to daily with A340-300, effective 01Jul14

Rome (FCO):
Aerolineas Argentinas increasing from 4x/weekly to daily with A340-300, effective 01Jul14  

Lima (LIM):
Aerolineas Argentinas increasing from daily to 2x/daily with 737-800, effective 01Aug14

From Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP):

Curitiba, Brazil (CWB):
Austral daily with Embraer 190, effective 01Mar14

Formosa, Argentina (FMA):
Austral 2x/daily with Embraer 190, effective March 2014

Santa Cruz, Bolivia (VVI):
Aerolineas Argentinas daily with 737-700, effective 01Apr14

Sources: via Eric Trum via Eric Trum via Eric Trum via Eric Trum via Eric Trum via Eric Trum via Eric Trum via Eric Trum via Eric Trum

Saturday, January 4, 2014

FLEET UPDATE: BQB Lineas Aereas Received its First A320 on 28Nov13

BQB received its first jet aircraft, an A320 leased from Vueling of Spain, on 28Nov13.  The plane, c/n 4661 and registered EC-LLJ, was delivered to Vueling on 14Apr11.  This is the same aircraft that was leased to Andes Lineas Aereas of Argentina for a short time in late 2011/early 2012.  

It is presumably leased to BQB on a wet-lease basis, also known as ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance provided by the lessor) as the plane will be returned to Vueling after only four months at the end of March 2014.       

BQB used the A320 to introduce daily service on the Montevideo (MVD) - Santiago (SCL) route on 15Dec13 but researching the carrier's website reveals that it is also being used on some of the carrier's flights to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and also occasionally to Florianopolis (FLN) and Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG).

Photo of the new addition to BQB's fleet in Vueling colors with BQB titles:


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HISTORICAL PHOTO: Transporte Aereo Rioplatense 707-338C, LV-MZE


Transporte Aereo Rioplatense 707-338C, LV-MZE, c/n 19297 in May 1980, possibly at Miami (MIA).  (Phil Perry Collection)

Transporte Aereo Rioplatense 707-338C started out life as QANTAS aircraft VH-EBX delivered by Boeing to the Australian carrier on 26Oct67.  Flying in QANTAS' famous "V-Jet" color scheme until 23Apr75, the aircraft was sold to British Caledonian Airways having accumulated 26,179 hours over 10,877 cycles.  The British airline registered the plane appropriately enough as G-BCAL.

G-BCAL flew for BCAL until September 1979, including a short-term lease to Sudan Airways, when due to BCAL taking on new DC-10's, the carrier started to retire its 707's.  G-BCAL was sold to Skyways Air International of Panama in December that year which immediately leased the aircraft to TAR taking on the new registration LV-MZE.         

TAR initially only applied its titles to the aircraft while maintaining the basic BCAL gold/blue cheatline and colors but later painted over the cheatline to a two-tone blue and changed the style of its logo too. The aircraft flew cargo services for TAR for nearly 11 years before being withdrawn from service when the airline shut down in December 1990.  In October 1994, LV-MZE came to its end when it was parted out at Miami International (MIA). 

More photos: