Monday, August 29, 2016

Air Class of Uruguay is now LATAM Cargo Uruguay ? Two 727-200's up For Sale ?

Air Class Cargo 727-200F, CX-CLB (c/n 21996), at Montevideo (MVD) in October 2015. The airline took delivery of this aircraft on 24Oct15. (Photo: Amilcar Carriqui via Martin Blanco of Aeronaves CX) 

The Wikipedia entry for the Uruguayan cargo airline, Air Class, until recently had a logo referring to LATAM Cargo Uruguay, suggesting that the carrier had been bought by the giant Chilean airline enterprise.  The editor of this blog has not found any other references to LATAM Cargo Uruguay online and the logo is gone from the Wikipedia page.

Bandeirante Passenger Operations

Air Class started operations in 1997 as an air taxi operator but in 2001 it acquired its first turboprop aircraft, Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante, CX-VIP (c/n 110-258), enabling it to start scheduled passenger service between Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) which it flew for only a short while followed by the short 30-mile, 20-minute hop over the Rio de la Plata between Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Colonia (CYR) Uruguay in 2003-2004 on behalf of AeroVIP Lineas Aereas.

CX-VIP left the Air Class fleet to Brazil where it belly-landed at the Cataratas Airport on 28Jul14 while flying as PT-TAW for Taxi Aero Weiss.

Metro Cargo Operations

Air Class went on to acquire four Fairchild SA227AC Metro III freighters.  

Two of these are still with the company:

* CX-CLS (c/n AC-755B) - Bought in December 2006
* CX-LSS (c/n AC-720) - Received November 2012

One of the others left to another carrier with the other having crashed in June 2012. 

* CX-CLA (c/n AC-736) - Leased from May 2004 to February 2013

* CX-LAS (c/n AC-482) - Received in October 2009.  Crashed in the Rio de la Plata on 06Jun12 with the loss of two crew near Isla de Flores while operating a cargo flight from Montevideo (MVD) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE).  The following links summarize the accident and ensuing search for the aircraft:

727-200F Operations

The first of two 727-200F's, CX-CAR (c/n 21958/1533), was delivered to Air Class on 29Jun11. This aircraft had a long career flying in the United States prior to arriving in Uruguay having been originally delivered to PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) in 1979 and going on to fly with Piedmont, US Air, American Trans Air and Astar Air Cargo.

Air Class' second 727-200F, CX-CLB (c/n 21996/1571), had a similar long career flying in the US, having been originally delivered to Braniff in 1980 and also flying for US Air, American Trans Air and Astar Air Cargo.  However, the aircraft also served in Venezuela from 2009-2015 with Vensecar International (DHL Express) before arriving in Uruguay in October 2015 ac CX-CLB.    

Both aircraft have reportedly been flying a weekly Montevideo (MVD) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Asuncion (ASU) round-trip plus cargo charters.  Photos of CX-CAR at several South American airports have appeared on the Internet, including Santiago (SCL), 
Curitiba (CWB), Porto Alegre (POA), and Salvador de Bahia (SSA).

Interestingly, both 727-200F's have shown as being for sale on more than one website:


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