Wednesday, June 21, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerovias DAP adding summer seasonal flights between Chile and Argentine Patagonia / Tierra del Fuego

Aerovias DAP

Source: Aerovias DAP website

This Chilean airline, which is based in Punta Arenas (PUQ) in southern Patagonia on the Strait of Magellan, will fly three routes linking PUQ with points in Argentine Patagonia / Tierra del Fuego during the southern hemisphere 2017-18 summer season.  

Punta Arenas (PUQ) - Ushuaia (USH) - eff 22Nov17

Operated with BAe 146-200, Avro RJ85, Avro RJ100 or 737-200's 2x/weekly. 

Punta Arenas (PUQ) - Puerto Natales (PNT) - El Calafate (FTE) - eff 30Nov17

Operated with BAe 146-200, Avro RJ85, Avro RJ100 or 737-200's 2x/weekly. 

Punta Arenas (PUQ) - Balmaceda (BBA) - Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) - eff 18Dec17

Operated with BAe 146-200, Avro RJ85, Avro RJ100 or 737-200's 2x/weekly. 


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Air France, Air New Zealand, United

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Newark (EWR) - eff 28Oct17

The US airline will reintroduce service on this route after having dropped it in September 2013.  Flights will be operated 1x/daily using 767-300's complementing the carrier's nightly 777-200 service from EZE to Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH).   

Montevideo (MVD) - Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - Discontinued eff 29Oct17

The French airline has operated this route since April 2013 as an extension of its Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) service, most recently 5x/weekly with 777-200's, but the carrier is dropping it in favor of codeshares with Gol Brazilian Airlines from Montevideo (MVD) through Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) to Paris.


Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Auckland (AKL) - Increased Frequency eff 07Nov17

Will increase frequency for the southern hemisphere summer adding a fourth weekly 787-9 flight on 07Nov17 increasing to five flights on 05Dec17 until 13Mar18.  


Monday, June 19, 2017

ROUTE UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas Cordoba (COR) Hub Flight Flows

Aerolineas Argentinas' new Cordoba (COR) hub which was inaugurated on 03Apr17 has reportedly enjoyed an 82% load factor.  

The hub is operated with one wave of flights starting its day in five northern cities; Iguazu (IGR), Jujuy (JUJ), Resistencia (RES), Salta (SLA) and Tucuman (TUC), arriving in Cordoba (COR) in the late morning with the aircraft continuing after a 90-120 minute layover to four southern cities; Bariloche (BRC), Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD), Neuquen (NQN) and Ushuaia (USH.

The same flow happens in reverse in the afternoon with the aircraft flying back north to Cordoba (COR) and on to the cities where they originated that same morning. 

In addition, Mendoza (MDZ), which is located in west central Argentina and is the third-largest city in the country, has two round-trips to Cordoba (COR) so it connects to all of the northern and southern flights twice-daily.       

Aerolineas also has flights from Cordoba (COR) to Rosario (ROS) and both Buenos Aires airports, Aeroparque (AEP) and Ezeiza (EZE).  

Additional planned flights to Cordoba (COR) are:

Cordoba (COR) - Rio Hondo (RHD) - eff 02Jun17

Operated using Austral E190's 6x/weekly. 

Cordoba (COR) - Calafate (FTE) - eff 15Sep17

Operated using Austral E190's 3x/weekly. 

Cordoba (COR) - Trelew (REL) - eff 16Sep17

Operated using 737-700's 4x/weekly. 

Sources: via Eric Trum   

Sunday, June 18, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Andes Lineas Aereas adds several new routes

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Rio Hondo (RHD) - eff 23May17

Operated using MD-80's 3x/weekly. 

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Cordoba (COR) - Samana (AZS) - eff 27May17

Operated using 737-800 / MD-80's 1x/weekly. 

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Bariloche (BRC) - eff 19Jun17

Operated using 737-800 / MD-80's 5x/weekly. 

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Iguazu (IGR) - eff 03Jul17

Operated using MD-80's 5x/weekly. 

Andes will soon have ten cities in its scheduled route network; Bariloche (BRC), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Cordoba (COR), Iguazu (IGR), Jujuy (JUJ), Mar del Plata (MDQ) (seasonal), Mendoza (MDZ), Puerto Madryn (PMY), Rio Hondo (RHD), and Salta (SLA), its home base.

The carrier also flies charters, especially for sports teams and school vacations to Bariloche (BRC) from points all over Argentina. 


Friday, June 16, 2017

PHOTO GALLERY: Argentine Provinces - Official Aircraft - at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) #1

This is the first of a two-part Photo Gallery to be posted tonight and next Friday, June 23.  All of the photos were taken by blog editor Phil Perry at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP).  

Provincia de Cordoba Beech B300 (350) Super King Air, LV-BAN (c/n FL-420), at AEP on 20Apr17. (Phil Perry Photo)

Provincia de San Juan Cessna 550 Citation II, LQ-YHC (c/n 550-0715), at AEP on 20Apr17. (Phil Perry Photo)

Provincia de San Juan Cessna 560 Encore +, LQ-CVO (c/n 560-0800), at AEP on 17Mar16. (Phil Perry Photo)

Provincia de Chubut Raytheon Hawker 400XP, LV-BEM (c/n RK-456), at AEP on 23Dec10. (Phil Perry Photo) 

Provincia de Santiago del Estero Learjet 45, LQ-CPS (c/n 45-094), at AEP on 21Jun16. (Phil Perry Photo)


Thursday, June 15, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas, Amaszonas, Gol, LATAM Argentina, Latin American Wings

The following airlines have added or will add new / increased services as follows:

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Curitiba (CWB) - Increased Frequency

Increased from 5x/weekly to 6x/weekly on 01Apr17 and increasing to 1x/daily on 01Jul17 using Austral E190's.  

Asuncion (ASU) - Salta (SLA) - Iquique (IQQ) - eff 04May17

Operated 3x/weekly using CRJ-200's.

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Rio Hondo (RHD) - eff 01Jun17

Operated 13x/weekly using A320's.
Mendoza (MDZ) - Santiago (SCL) - eff 23Jun17 - 17Jul17

"Regularly scheduled charter" flights operated 6x/weekly using 737-300's.

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Joao Pessoa (JPA) - eff 01Jul17

Operated 1x/weekly using 737-800's.

Cordoba (COR) - Salvador de Bahia (SSA) - eff 01Jul17

Operated 1x/weekly using 737-800's.

Sources: via Eric Trum via Eric Trum

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: LATAM adding international flights to Neuquen (NQN), Rosario (ROS), San Juan (UAQ) and Tucuman (TUC)

LATAM Group announced in April a major expansion connecting "interior" Argentine cities directly to the group's hubs in Lima (LIM) and Santiago (SCL).

Rosario (ROS) - Santiago (SCL) - eff 01Jul17

Operated by LATAM Chile A320's 4x/weekly. 

Tucuman (TUC) - Lima (LIM) - eff 01Sep17

Operated by LATAM Peru A320's 3x/weekly. 

San Juan  - Santiago (SCL) - eff 01Oct17

Operated by LATAM Argentina A320's 3x/weekly. 

Tucuman (TUC) - Santiago (SCL) - eff 02Oct17

Operated by LATAM Chile A320's 3x/weekly. 

Neuquen (NQN) - Santiago (SCL) - eff 04Oct17

Operated by LATAM Argentina A320's 3x/weekly. 

Once all of these flights are implemented, the LATAM Group of airlines will offer international flights from nine airports in Argentina; Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Cordoba (COR), Mendoza (MDZ), Neuquen (NQN), Rosario (ROS), Salta (SLA), San Juan (UAQ) and Tucuman (TUC), more than any other airline.  

Sources: via Eric Trum

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ROUTE UPDATE: Conviasa flights to Ezeiza by Wamos discontinued in May, operated by Turpial 737-400's and Conviasa E190's

Wamos Air of Spain had been operating 747-400, EC-KXN (c/n 25703/1025), on behalf of the Venezuelan state-owned carrier Conviasa between Caracas (CCS) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Madrid (MAD) for a couple of years after the European Union rescinded Conviasa's route rights after failing a safety audit in 2012.  However, Wamos operated its 747-400 to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) for the last time on 03May17 citing "political reasons" for the suspension, stranding hundreds of passengers in the process.  

In response, Conviasa chartered two of the three 737-400's operated by the privately-owned Venezuelan carrier Turpial Airlines, YV-613T (c/n 24795/1870) and YV-622T (c/n 27384/2673), to fly between Ezeiza and Caracas (CCS) with stops in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (VVI) on 08May17.  The airline's third 737-400, YV-621T (c/n 27352/2624) also flew this route on 11May17. These flights were later complemented by a flight by one of Conviasa's own E190's on 13May17, also with a stop in Santa Cruz (VVI) for refuelling.       

Monday, June 12, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Norwegian postponing Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - London Gatwick (LGW) flights until early 2018, might use A320neo's in Argentina, the online website of the leading British aviation magazine, Flight International, reports that Norwegian has postponed the start of its 787 service between Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and London Gatwick (LGW) from November 2017 to a hoped-for date of February 2018 due to necessary changes in its accounting system to adjust to the Argentine tax regime.

The newly-established Norwegian Air Argentina, which was presumed to be planning to operate 737 aircraft, might instead take on some of the A320neo's that the parent carrier has on order. 


Friday, June 9, 2017

PHOTO GALLERY: BAe 125 and Hawker 800 Business Jets at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP)

BAe 125 and Hawker 800 business jets photographed at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) by blog editor Phil Perry over the last few years:

Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya BAe 125-700A, CX-CIB (c/n 257071), at AEP on 07Mar17.  This aircraft is apparently used for VIP transport, presumably mostly by the president of Uruguay. (Phil Perry Photo)

Global Oil S.A. Hawker 800XP2, LV-CJG (c/n 258411), at AEP on 25May12. (Phil Perry Photo)

CAS SA Lineas Aereas (Condor Express) ? Hawker 800XP, LV-BBG (c/n 258707), takes off from AEP on 17Mar16. (Phil Perry Photo)

Puyel S.A. / Alparamis S.A. ? Hawker 800XP, LV-ZTR (c/n 258462), at AEP on 01Oct10. (Phil Perry Photo)

Hawker 800XP, N348MC (c/n 258290), at AEP on 01Aug10. (Phil Perry Photo)


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Azul Uruguay moving forward on starting operation with 6-8 ATR-72-600's

Azul Uruguay, the planned new Uruguayan division of Azul Brazilian Airlines, has completed submitting the necessary paperwork to the Uruguayan DINACIA aviation authority to demonstrate its fitness to operate as an airline, with the Junta Aeronautica, another Uruguayan aviation agency, next in line to grant the new airline provisional operating authority. 

Azul Uruguay plans to start flying with 6-8 factory-new ATR-72-600's from Montevideo (MVD) to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Porto Alegre (POA), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Cordoba (COR), probably in the second half of this year.  The carrier plans to employ many former Alas Uruguay and PLUNA employees.  


Monday, June 5, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: List of over a Dozen New Airlines proposing to start service in Argentina

This posting is to bring together the names of new Argentine airlines that are proposing to start service and existing Argentine airlines that are either growing substantially or looking to possibly do so under the new route hearing regime. 

Existing Argentine airlines that have ADDED new service or soon will:

* Andes Lineas Aereas
* Avianca Argentina

Existing Argentine airlines that are PLANNING to add new service:

* American Jet

Proposed New Argentine Airlines:

* Alas del Sur
* Flybondi
* Flyest
* Norwegian Air Argentina 

Rumored New Argentine Airlines

* Amaszonas Argentina ?
* Baires Jet
* Buenos Aires International (Juan Maggio, ex-owner of defunct Southern Winds)
* Flecha Bus
* Royal Class
* SABSA (Via Bariloche Group)

Information on most of these has appeared in past postings under the label "New Airline Plans".  


Sunday, June 4, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Via Bariloche bus company starts process of starting airline division

Via Bariloche, one of Argentina's most important long-distance bus companies, recently started the process of establishing an airline division with the Argentine ANAC aviation authority looking to participate in the second round of recent airline route hearings to be held later in June or in July.

Another Argentine long-distance bus company, Flecha Bus, is also reportedly considering starting an air carrier division. 

These bus companies would not be the first to start an airline in Argentina.  The Andesmar bus company operated an airline of the same name in 1996 flying two Saab 340's on regional routes for a short time.        


Saturday, June 3, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Alas Mediterraneas looking to fly from Cordoba (COR) with three Saab 340's

Alas Mediterraneas was founded in Cordoba in 2008 with the intention of flying charters and even planned to acquire a 737-300 from Mexico but the restrictive air transportation policy of the previous Argentine presidential administration prevented the carrier from starting operations.

The infrastructure of what had been developed of Alas Mediterraneas to that point was sold to businessman Claudio Ortiz Belgoff and a group of investors in 2010 with no further plans being made until recently when the carrier announced plans to present itself at the next Argentine public route hearings, currently scheduled for late June or in July.

The airline would base operations at a Cordoba (COR) hub (much as Aerolineas Argentinas is developing and as Alas del Sur and Avianca Argentina have proposed) with flights to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP),  Catamarca (CTC), Rio Cuarto (RCU), Rosario (ROS), San Luis (LUQ), and Santiago del Estero (SDE) using three Saab 340s.


Friday, June 2, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Flyest CRJ-200 LV-GIJ parked at Aeroparque (AEP) waiting to fly

Flyest CRJ-200, LV-GIJ (c/n 7466), parked at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 19Apr17.  The aircraft has apparently been parked in the same spot in front of AEP's new terminal since late March.  (Phil Perry Photo)

Flyest, the airline that aims to succeed the defunct Sol Lineas Aereas as a small regional carrier complementing Argentina's mainline airlines, received its first aircraft, the ex-Sol CRJ-200, LV-GIJ (c/n 7466) in early March, but it has since been parked at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) with no indication of when the airline might start service.   

Air Nostrum Connection

The airline is 51% majority-owned by Gustavo Cebreiro, ex director general of Sol, with 49% of the airline in the hands of ILAI, an investor group of which the Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum is a member.  Air Nostrum has been in the process of implementing a strategy of partnering with South American regional airlines using surplus CRJ-200 aircraft from its fleet, with its greatest success being its venture with the Amaszonas group of airlines, including Amaszonas Bolivia, Amaszonas Paraguay and Amaszonas Uruguay.  In contrast, Air Nostrum's partnership with Sol Lineas Aereas only lasted for a couple of months in late 2015 / early 2016 when the new management of Aerolineas Argentinas that came in with the change of government in Argentina abruptly withdrew its marketing agreement and accompanying financial assistance to Sol in January 2016. 

Current Status & Future Plans

Flyest took over Sol's AOC and scheduled route rights to Rosario (ROS), Cordoba (COR) and Punta del Este (PDP).  It planned to start flying to Montevideo (MVD on 07Apr17 but that service has yet to materialize.  Its aircraft, LV-GIJ, is still painted in basic Austral colors with Flyest billboard titles but the airline plans to paint future aircraft, it hopes to have five CRJ-200's in service by late 2018, in its own color scheme, which has yet to be presented to the public.   


Thursday, June 1, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Andes Lineas Aereas takes delivery of its first 737-800

Andes Lineas Aereas took delivery of 737-85F, LV-GWL (c/n 30007/746) on 19May17, the first 737-800 in its fleet.  The aircraft was first delivered to South African Airways in 2001 and went on to fly for Firefly and Malaysia Airlines before going to Andes.  It arrived at Andes' home base of Salta (SLA) on 21May17.

LV-GWL joins four MD-80's currently in the Andes fleet with 1-2 more MD-80's and one 737-800 expected to be added before the end of 2017.  Despite the addition of MD-80's to the fleet this year, they are all expected to be replaced by 737-800's during 2018.  

The new aircraft acquisitions will enable the airline to take on several new scheduled routes that are being added to its network under the new liberalized Argentine air transportation policy implemented by Argentine President Mauricio Macri's administration.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas retires 737-7Q8 LV-CVX, going to Southwest

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-7Q8, LV-CVX (c/n 30641/1080), lands at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 07Aug16.  (Phil Perry Photo)

Aerolineas Argentinas retired the above aircraft on 04May17 when it departed Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Paine Field (PAE) in Everett, Washington, USA with intermediate stops in Punta Cana (PUJ) and Miami (MIA).   

The 737-700 will join Southwest Airlines as have several other retired Aerolineas Argentinas 737-700's recently.  It was photographed in Seattle (SEA) on 26May17 sporting its new registration N7859B still in Aerolineas colors but with its titles painted over:

LV-CVX's departure leaves Aerolineas with 13 737-700's in its fleet, all of which will be retired as they are replaced by new 737-800's entering the Argentine national carrier's fleet. 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Flybondi to start-up with US$ 20 million investment and 737-800 lease

New Jobs

Flybondi is preparing for start-up with 25 staff at its Puerto Madero headquarters in downtown Buenos Aires taking applications for an initial 30 pilot and 100 cabin crew positions with flight operations expected to start in September or October of this year. 

El Palomar (EPA) Development

The airline is planning to initially invest US$ 20 million developing its own facilities at El Palomar (EPA), an airfield located 15 miles west of downtown Buenos Aires, which is best known as a military airbase where several former Aerolineas Argentinas / Fuerza Aerea Argentina 707's have been parked for several years, which have been recently joined by the "Tango 01" Argentine Presidential 757, now out of service, and the FAA 737-500, reportedly undergoing engine changes that will see it soon resume service transporting governmental VIP's.  

Flybondi will develop passenger and flight facilities at EPA for its own private use not to be shared with other airlines as the carrier does not want to be an airport administrator.  

New Terminal, Ramp, Taxiways & Access Road 

The infrastructure to be constructed will include a new passenger terminal, featuring a simple functional design along the lines of the those used by Low-Cost Carriers in Europe, new ramp space, and connecting taxiways, all located across runway 16/34 from the existing terminal space on the east side of the airfield.  A new road connecting to the "Western Access Highway" will also be built to make the terminal easier to reach.  The new facilities are expected to be ready for use in early 2018 with Flybondi starting initial flight operations from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) pending completion of the new resources. 

A further US$ 10 million is planned to be spent expanding its facilities at EPA during the next 2-3 years. 

First 737-800 Lease

The most significant recent development for Flybondi was the signing of a lease on its first aircraft, a 737-800, on 12May17 with delivery of the plane expected later this year.  Another 10 737-800's are expected to join the fleet in 2017-18. 


The airline aims to carry 8 million passenger in its first five years while employing 1,500 workers resulting in another 20,000 new travel industry jobs.


Monday, May 29, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Avianca Argentina to start operations on 11Jul17 between Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Reconquista (RCQ)

First Service

Avianca Argentina will start operating as a new carrier on 11Jul17 between Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Reconquista (RCQ) in northern Santa Fe province using ATR-72-600's 1x/daily.  

Next Destinations to Follow

The next city for scheduled service is planned to be Villa Maria (VMR) in Cordoba province followed by Villa Gesell (VLG), Mar del Plata (MDQ) and Necochea (NEC) along the coast of the Province of Buenos Aires and Tres Arroyos (OYO) and Olavarria (OVR), which are located more inland in the same province.  The latter three airports will probably first see flights operated by the ex-Macair fleet of Jetstream 32's passing to ATR-72-600's once these routes have been developed.

Concordia (COC) in Entre Rios province and Puerto Madryn (PMY) along the Patagonian coastline are slated for new service too.

Cordoba (COR) Hub

Avianca Argentina is also now stating plans to establish a hub in Cordoba (COR), Argentina's second-largest city that is well-located for hub operations in the center of the country.  Flights from COR to several cities are tentatively planned; Mendoza (MDZ), San Juan (UAQ), Rosario (ROS), Santa Fe (SFN), Santa Rosa (RSA), Resistencia (RES), Santiago del Estero (SDE), Río Hondo (RHD), Tucumán (TUC), Salta (SLA), Jujuy (JUJ) and Iguazú (IGR).

Tucuman (TUC) Hub

Avianca Argentina's previously announced plans to operate a hub in the northern city of Tucuman (TUC) are still on with the carrier planning to request routes from the airport at the next public route hearings in June / July.  The airline has not prioritized service from TUC because the airport facilities are undergoing upgrades and renovations that will not be finished until September. 

Start-Up Assets

The carrier expects to have five ATR-72-600's in service with 125,000 passengers flown by the end of 2017.  It will start service with 50 pilots and 50 flight attendants and employ 500 people directly and 1700 indirectly.


Avianca Argentina is investing US$ 180 million to start operations consisting of six ATR-72-600's at US$ 25 million each and US$ 30-40 million in start-up costs, presumably including airport facilities, offices, training and employee salaries.

Future Plans

The next major step for the airline in the not-too-distant future is expected to be the solicitation of international routes to be flown with A320 and 787 aircraft.     

Sunday, May 28, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Avianca Argentina cleared to start service by Anti-Corruption Office

On 08May17, the Argentine Government Anti-Corruption Office found no conflict of interest between Avianca Argentina and the administration of Argentine president Marucio Macri.  Avianca Argentina established a foothold in the Argentine domestic airline scene when it purchased the Air Operator Certificate of Macair, an FBO that also flew limited Jetstream 32 domestic services, from members of the Macri family in 2016. 

Some suspected that the Macri family retained an ownership stake in Macair, maintained financial interests tied to its fortunes or traded future favors as part of the sale.  The doubts generated by these suspicions led to the suspension of route rights granted to the carrier by the Argentine ANAC aviation authority pending the outcome of the investigation of the anti-corruption office.  

With the latter finding no such links, the Ministry of Transport has formalized the 16 domestic and two international route rights granted to Avianca Argentina and the airline can now go ahead with the introduction of services with the 12 ATR-72-600's that it has on order, with two of them already having been delivered. 

The next posting will feature information on Avianca Argentina's first flights starting 11Jul17 and plans for the rest of the year. 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Macair Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Reconquista (RCQ) service operated under Avianca Argentina brand eff 03Apr17

The service flown by Macair, the airline that was previously owned by members of Argentine President Mauricio Macri's family which was bought by Avianca, between Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Reconquista (RCQ) in northern Santa Fe Province has been operating under the Avianca Argentina brand since 03Apr17.  The flights have been operated with 19-seat Jetstream 32 aircraft for several years under the Macair brand along with a few other regional services to smaller cities in the provinces of Cordoba and Santa Fe, such as Villa Maria (VMR) and Sunchales (NCJ). 

The change in airline name being used for the Reconquista (RCQ) flights was a little surprising because the new services to be operated by Avianca Argentina with its new ATR-72-600 fleet had not received the go-ahead yet in early April and the airline was technically not authorized to operate in Argentina yet. However, with the Macair service having operated for several years and with Avianca owning the carrier, there was apparently enough of a "grey area" for Avianca to apply the Avianca Argentina brand to the Macair flights.   

The local chamber of commerce in northern Argentina has been promoting the service in social media and even has a website featuring the Avianca Argentina brand and logo:

Macair's Jetstream 32 fleet apparently still consists of at least three aircraft with two of the examples flying in the carrier's colors and titles with one painted with simple wavy lines and sporting a small Macair logo as seen below:  

Macair Jetstream 32, LV-ZST (c/n 941), taxiing at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 17Nov16.  (Phil Perry Photo) 


Sunday, May 21, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Norwegian Air Argentina announces Fleet and Operational Plans

Norwegian Air Argentina presented its business plan to the Argentine ANAC aviation authority on March 31 in solicitation of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to enable it to participate in the next round of Argentine public route hearings, currently scheduled for June or July.    

The new LCC plans to eventually invest US$ 3.4 billion (3,400 million) in its Argentine operation employing between 3,000-3,500 staff operating 70 aircraft (737-800's and 787's) on 146 domestic and international routes from crew/aircraft bases in Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Cordoba (COR), and Mendoza (MDZ).  

The deployment of aircraft would happen in stages:

* 6 737-800 in service at the start of operations in late 2017 / early 2018
* 11 737-800 + 4 787 - 12 months after the start of service           
* 25 737-800 + 10 787 - 30 months after start-up
* 50 737-800 + 20 787 - 5-8 years after start-up

The airline would fly the main Argentine domestic routes, such as Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Cordoba (COR), Mendoza (MDZ) and Salta (SLA), claiming that its services would be more complementary than competitive with Aerolineas Argentinas, Austral and LATAM Argentina with most of its traffic coming from new passengers stimulated to travel by fares much lower than those currently available in these markets. 

These domestic routes would also feed Norwegian Air Argentina's proposed international routes from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to London Gatwick (LGW) (projected to start in December 2017), Barcelona (BCN), and even Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (STO) and Copenhagen (CPH).         

Norwegian Air Argentina forecasts that it will carry approx. 18.2 million passengers on up to 146 routes to 90 destinations in 25 countries once it reaches its projected service levels by around 2025-2026.  It claims that 55,000-60,000 indirect jobs would be created in related travel services, such as hotels, restaurants, ground transportation, shopping, etc.    

Following up on its application to the ANAC, the carrier announced in early May that it was hiring administrative staff immediately with the recruitment of flight crews to start in September.  

The carrier is expected to easily qualify for its AOC due to the parent company's size and credibility.  The Norwegian Air Group had US$ 3.1 billion (3,100 million) revenue in 2016 with 24.7 million passengers carried and 126 aircraft in service. It is the third-largest LCC in Europe and sixth-largest in the world.  It has 250 aircraft on order with Boeing and is the only airline to have proposed new service in Argentina that has the capability to operate to both Europe and the United States as well as Argentine domestic service. 


Monday, May 1, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas received its 28th 737-800, LV-GUC, on 20Apr17

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-8SH, LV-GUC (c/n 41358/6362), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 20Apr17.  It is the carrier's 28th 737-800 and along with the 14 737-700's still in its fleet (most of them are being returned as they come off lease), the airline currently has 42 737NG's.

Aerolineas still has a number of 737-800's on order with several orders being converted to the new 737 MAX 8 model, the first of which is due to be delivered later in 2017.   

Sunday, April 30, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Amaszonas Uruguay received its second CRJ-200, CX-LVA, in Montevideo (MVD) on 29Mar17

                                           (Amaszonas Uruguay Twitter account Photos)

Amaszonas Uruguay received its second CRJ-200, CX-LVA (c/n 7561), in Montevideo (MVD) on 29Mar17.  The aircraft came from Canada with a stop in Cochabamba (CBB) for painting in the carrier's colors before proceeding to Uruguay.  

Amaszonas Uruguay is expected to receive two more CRJ-200's before the end of the year for a fleet of four aircraft, which it plans to use to start service from Montevideo (MVD) to Cordoba (COR) and Santa Cruz (VVI) and for additional flights to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP).

The Amaszonas Group of airlines currently has a total fleet of eleven CRJ-200's with Amaszonas Linea Aerea (Bolivia) operating seven aircraft and Amaszonas Paraguay and Amaszonas Uruguay each having two CRJ-200's. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

FIRST PHOTO: Amaszonas Paraguay CRJ-200 first flight from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Asuncion (ASU)

Amaszonas Paraguay CRJ-200, ZP-CRN (c/n 7866), takes off from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Asuncion (ASU) on 20Apr17 operating the airline's first scheduled flight from Buenos Aires to Paraguay.  (Phil Perry Photo)  

ROUTE UPDATE: Amaszonas Paraguay started Asuncion (ASU) - Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) flights today, 20Apr17

Amaszonas Paraguay introduced new service from Asuncion (ASU) to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 20Apr17 with flights being operated 2x/daily using CRJ-200's.  

The carrier will join Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral E190's that currently service this route 1x/daily and LATAM Paraguay A320's that link Asuncion (ASU) with Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), also 1x/daily.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

ROUTE UPDATE: Rosario (ROS) to be Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral "Focus City" with more flights

Aerolineas Argentinas will soon operate more flights from Rosario (ROS), which serves Argentina's third-largest city, turning it into a "focus city". 

New services will be introduced and frequencies on existing routes will be increased to such destinations as Bariloche (BRC), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Cordoba (COR), El Calafate (FTE), Mendoza (MDZ) and Salta (SLA).