Sunday, July 24, 2016
Andes Lineas Aereas - 10 years flying in Argentina - Profile & History
Andes Lineas Aereas was founded in Salta (SLA), Argentina in 2005 and started service in June 2006. The main reason behind its start-up was to add flights between Salta (SLA) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to make up for the loss of capacity on the route due to sharp cutbacks in service, including a significantly down-sized fleet, by the then-owner of Aerolineas Argentinas, the Spanish Marsans tourism group.
Andes fleet has consisted of a total of thirteen MD-82/83 series aircraft, two short-bodied MD-87's, two CRJ-900's and two A320's. It appears that some of the MD-80's never entered service with the airline and were only used for spare parts.
Andes currently operates four MD-83's, LV-AYD (c/n 53015/1818), LV-CCJ (c/n 49621/1495), LV-WGM (c/n 49784/1627) and LV-WGN (c/n 49934/1764).
The airline has flown scheduled services, primarily between Salta (SLA) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) with extensions in the south to Puerto Madryn (PMY), the Patagonian city located on the Atlantic which is famous for whale-watching, and Jujuy (JUJ) in the north, some 80 miles from Salta.
Very important to Andes has also been its numerous charter services, with perhaps more charter flights during the last decade than any other Argentine airline.
These include charter flights on behalf of tour operators selling vacation packages, such as to the Brazilian destinations of Florianopolis (FLN), Maceio (MCZ), Natal (NAT), Porto Seguro (BPS), Recife (REC), Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), and Salvador de Bahia (SSA). the Dominican Republic resorts of Punta Cana (PUJ) and La Romana (LRM) plus Montevideo (MVD) and Punta del Este (PDP) in Uruguay.
Andes also flies sports charters for professional football (soccer) teams and their supporters all over South America for tournaments such as the Copa de Libertadores and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The airline also flies many domestic charters in Argentina, especially student trips to the lake. mountain and ski resort of Bariloche (BRC) located near the Chilean border and Andes mountain range.
Andes even painted an MD-83 with the name of one of Argentina's most important student tour operators, Travelrock, emblazoned on the side in billboard titles. Cities served in Argentina on a charter basis have included Cordoba (COR), Malargüe (LGS), Puerto Iguazu (IGR), Resistencia (RES), San Juan (UAQ), Chapelco / San Martin de Los Andes (CPC), and Ushuaia (USH).
The next posting will feature a photo history of much of Andes' fleet and its aircraft color schemes.