Wednesday, July 11, 2012

PLUNA Update: BQB and SOL Denied Authorization for MVD-AEP

Contrary to a previous report, only the Uruguayan aviation authorities gave approval for multiple flights by BQB Lineas Aereas (Uruguayan carrier) and SOL Lineas Aereas (Argentine) on the Montevideo (MVD) - Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) route to replace the flights of PLUNA that has ceased operations.  The ANAC Argentine aviation authority denied permission for most of the flights with the result that only one extra flight each day, Saturday and Sunday, was operated by BQB this past weekend between Montevideo and Buenos Aires.  

Argentina has decided that the only carrier flying the "Air Bridge" connecting the two cities will be Aerolineas Argentinas with other carriers receiving permission to operate this route only if and when Aerolineas' flights are full.  Argentina has an obligation to allow equal "regularly scheduled" flights by Uruguayan carriers but the flights authorized by Uruguay were only "exceptional" flights and not "regular" flights.  Plus the only Uruguayan airline that is in a position to possibly fly between MVD and AEP is BQB but it is only authorized on the Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Punta de Este, Uruguay (PDP) route as of now.  Also, the carrier can only offer limited capacity having just two ATR-72-212A's in its fleet.       

BQB might eventually fly MVD - AEP regularly scheduled flights if authorized to by the Uruguayan government but right now the government is hoping that a private investor will buy the seven company-owned PLUNA CRJ-900's and take over the former PLUNA operation, in which case the new investors would receive the MVD-AEP regularly-scheduled authorization.  Indeed, BQB itself might end up being the private investor that buys the former PLUNA assets as indicated in previous posts of this blog. 

Source:  El Pais Uruguay 10Jul12

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