Monday, December 21, 2020

ROUTE UPDATES: Argentina "Regular" Flights Restart - #2 of 4 - Flybondi & Jetsmart Argentina - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) Departures - Week of 07-13Dec

The text immediately below this introduction is repeated from previous posting "ROUTE UPDATES: Argentina "Regular" Flights Restart - #1 of 4 - Aerolineas Argentinas - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) Departures - Week of 07-13Dec" to give context to the information regarding Flybondi, Jetsmart Argentina and American Jet in the second half of this posting: 

Regularly scheduled airline services came to an abrupt halt in Argentina on 20Mar20 with only "special" flights operated, mostly for the repatriation of both Argentines stranded overseas and foreigners marooned in Argentina, until  22Oct20 when "regular" flights were resumed. 

Many special cargo flights were also operated (and continue to be flown), such as at least sixteen Aerolineas Argentinas flights to Shanghai, China that brought back to Argentina massive numbers of masks, gowns and other equipment to be used in the fight against COVID-19.     

The resumption of "regular" flights in October was exclusively out of Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) because the capital's two other airports were and still are closed.  

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) is not operational due to the airfield's sole runway being resurfaced and extended (work scheduled to be finished in March/April) and the reopening of Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) was deemed inefficient costwise, considering that Ezeiza is operating well below capacity, so EPA's two carriers, Flybondi and Jetsmart, have been directed to fly out of EZE, at least for now. 

At first, only about a dozen "regular" flights per day flew out of EZE but this increased significantly to an average of 47 daily departures during the week of 07-13Dec with a total of 332 flights being operated by all airlines from EZE during that period.  

Flybondi 737-800, LV-HFR (c/n 28017/133), at Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) on 17Dec19.  This is the only aircraft currently operating flights for Flybondi.  (Phil Perry (Photo)  

Flybondi

The nearly three-year old Argentine Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) was holding out to restart service out of the Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) airport that it shared with Jetsmart Argentina but agreed to fly from EZE when it became clear that EPA would not open anytime soon.

Flybondi's sole 737-800, LV-HFR (c/n 28017/133), returned to Argentina from maintenance in Mexico on 11Dec20, just in time to resume service on Saturday, 12Dec20 with a total of 6 flights to Bariloche (BRC), Puerto Iguazu (IGR), Posadas (PSS), Salta (SLA) and Tucuman (TUC) in its first two days of service, followed by the addition of flights to Corrientes (CNQ), Jujuy (JUJ), Santiago del Estero (SDE) and Neuquen (NQN) since then.

Jetsmart Argentina 

The other important Argentine LCC, Jetsmart Argentina, reportedly restarted service on 19Nov20 with flights from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Bariloche (BRC) and Neuquen (NQN) using its A320 fleet.  More recently, the carrier flew 16 fights to 9 destinations during the week of 07-13Dec, Bariloche (BRC), Cordoba (COR), Mendoza (MDZ), Puerto Iguazu (IGR), Neuquen (NQN), Rio Grande (RGA), Salta (SLA), Tucuman (TUC) and Ushuaia (USH).  

The carrier has also added flights directly linking points in Argentina's "interior" to each other without connecting through Buenos Aires, such as Salta (SLA) to Neuquen (NQN) and Cordoba (COR) to Bariloche (BRC).

American Jet

One other Argentine carrier has been flying out of EZE occasionally recently, such as to San Rafael (AFA) and Bariloche (BRC) on 08Dec20 with its ERJ-145's, though they might have been "special" or even charter flights.     

Sources:

www.aa2000.com.ar

www.aviacionline.com

www.sirchandler.com.ar

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