Tuesday, January 23, 2018

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Flybondi receives AOC, starts selling tickets, will start flying 26Jan18


New Argentine Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Flybondi is due to start regularly scheduled commercial service on 26Jan18 with its first route being Cordoba (COR) to Iguazu (IGR).

The most recent developments at the carrier:

Start-Up

*  The ANAC Argentine national aviation authority granted Flybondi its Air Operator Certifiocate (AOC) on 10Jan18.

*  The carrier promptly started selling tickets on its website the next day, 11Jan18, claiming to have sold 10,000 tickets in the first 24 hours.

* Flybondi's two-letter IATA code is FO (the letter"O" not the number "0")

* The airline's first route will be Cordoba (COR) - Iguazu (IGR) 2x/weekly using its sole (so far) 737-800, effective 26Jan18.

Airfares

Sample airfares include:

* Cordoba (COR) - Iguazu (IGR) base minimum fare AR$ 1,928 RT = approx. US$ 100

* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Cordoba (COR)  (Buenos Aires - Cordoba is the most heavily traveled city pair in Argentina) base minimum fare AR$ 1,394 RT = approx. US$ 73

The earlier that tickets are bought, the lower the fares, with the above discounts having at least a 10-day advance purchase requirement and being subject to availability (buying 10 days in advance does not guarantee these fares).

First Routes

Flybondi announced the following 16 routes to start by May:  

Buenos Aires: 

* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Neuquen (NQN) - 1x/daily - eff 26FEB18 
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Bariloche (BRC) - 1x/daily - eff 26FEB18  
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Tucuman (TUC) - 1x/daily - eff 28FEB18
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Corrientes (CNQ) - 1x/daily - eff 05MAR18
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Mendoza (MDZ) - 1x/daily - eff 05MAR18
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Jujuy (JUJ) - 5x/weekly - eff 13MAR18
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Posadas (PSS) - 1x/daily - eff 30APR18
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Bahia Blanca (BHI) - 4x/weekly - eff 03MAY18
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Salta (SLA) - 1x/daily - eff 07MAY18
* Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) – Santiago del Estero (SDE) - 4x/weekly - eff 10MAY18 

Cordoba:

* Cordoba (COR) – Iguazu (IGR) - 2x/weekly - eff 26JAN18
* Cordoba (COR) – Bariloche (BRC) - 2x/weekly - eff 27JAN18
* Cordoba (COR) – Mendoza (MDZ) - 5x/weekly - eff 29JAN18
* Cordoba (COR) – Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - 2x/daily - eff 09FEB18 

Mendoza:

* Mendoza (MDZ) – Bariloche (BRC) - 2x/weekly - eff 30JAN18
* Mendoza (MDZ) – Iguazu (IGR) - 2x/weekly - eff 01FEB18

These routes will be operated by the five 737-800's that it expects to have in its fleet by June (it has one now with four more to be delivered).  Two of the five aircraft will be based in Cordoba (COR) to operate routes originating from that city. 

The airline expects to have 33 routes in operation by the end of the year.

An Argentine federal judge recently ordered the suspension of construction of new facilities to be used by Flybondi at El Palomar (EPA) due to complaints filed by citizens' groups that an environmental impact study should be carried out to determine the effects of the expected sharp increase in noise from ongoing commercial operations.  Nonetheless, construction apparently continues.   

Sources:

http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2018/01/flybondi-los-aviones-vienen-las-fechas-destino/
http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2018/01/actualidad-las-lineas-aereas-la-argentina/
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2018/avn180118/avn-180118.html
https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/276661/flybondi-outlines-operational-launch-in-1h18/ via Eric Trum

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