Sunday, December 29, 2013

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas adds 2 737-800's, 2 A340's & 3 A330's to its Fleet

Aerolineas Argentinas added several aircraft to its fleet in recent months as part of its strategy of increasing connectivity domestically, regionally and on an intercontinental basis. 

Recent fleet additions were:

A330-223, LV-FNI, c/n 290, delivered on 03Sep13 from ILFC was the first A330 taken by Aerolineas.  It was originally delivered to SABENA on 09Aug99 but also flew with VG Airlines and Malaysian before joining AR.

A340-313X, LV-FPV, c/n 193, was delivered on 12Oct13, also from ILFC, wearing Skyteam colors. The aircraft was delivered new to Iberia on 21Oct97 as EC-GPB.


A330-223, LV-FNK, c/n 358, delivered on 28Nov13.  This aircraft was originally delivered to Air Afrique in 2000 also operating with Calliope, Eurofly, Atlas Jet, Saudi Arabian Airlines and again with Atlas Jet before joining Aerolineas as the second A330 to enter its fleet. 

737-86J, LV-FQC, c/n 37744/3694, delivered on 13Dec13.  This plane was originally delivered to Air Berlin as D-ABKU on 06Jul11.

737-86J, LV-FQB, c/n 36886/3777, delivered on 20Dec13 having been delivered new, also to Air Berlin, as D-ABKY on 21Sep11.       

A330-223, LV-FNL, c/n 364, delivered on 23Dec13.  This aircraft also was originally delivered to Air Afrique in 2000 and also operated with Calliope, Eurofly, Atlas Jet, Saudi Arabian Airlines and again with Atlas Jet before joining Aerolineas as the third A330 to enter its fleet. 

A340-313X, LV-FPU, c/n 170, delivered on 23Dec13.  This plane was originally delivered to Air Canada on 29Apr97 and also flew with Gestair Cargo and Iberia.

Fleet reduction:

A340-312, LV-BMT, c/n 48 was returned to the lessor on 18Dec13 flying to Goodyear. Arizona in the USA.  This is an early A340 airframe having originally been delivered to Air Mauritius on 18May94 and also having flown for Air Jamaica and Air Canada.   

Aerolineas Argentinas' current active fleet consists of 43 aircraft:

22 737-700  
  6 737-800
  3 A330-200
  4 A340-200
  8 A340-300


Thursday, December 26, 2013

FLEET UPDATE: BQB Lineas Aereas Received its Fourth ATR-72 on 11/12Nov13

BQB Lineas Aereas of Uruguay received its fourth ATR-72-212A on 11/12Nov13. The aircraft, c/n 636, was originally delivered to Jet Airways on 01Mar00 registered as VT-JCD.  It was stored in August 2013 prior to its recent delivery to BQB registered as CX-POS.    

CX-POS will be used to help expand BQB's route network, primarily based at Montevideo (MVD), to include new destinations, such as Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Curitiba (CWB), all in Brazil. 

Frequencies on existing destinations, such as Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Salto, Uruguay (STY), Asuncion, Paraguay (ASU), and the Brazilian airports of Florianapolis (FLN), Foz de Iguassu (IGU), and Porto Alegre (POA) have been or will be increased in the coming months with both the new ATR and the recent addition to BQB's fleet of an A320, its first jet aircraft. 

Photo of BQB's newly-added ATR-72 on its delivery flight in Recife, Brazil (REC) on 11Nov13:


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Traveling until December 8, Next Post will be approx. December 12-15

Dear Readers:

The editor of this blog is currently traveling overseas until December 8 and will publish the next post on approx. December 12-15.  In the meantime, please check my previous posts for interesting information on Argentine and Uruguayan commercial aviation since the end of 2011 plus historical data too.

Best Wishes,

Phil Perry
Argentina Airline News, Photography & Spotting

Thursday, November 7, 2013

HISTORICAL PHOTO: Aerotransportes Entre Rios L-1049E Super Constellation LV-IXZ at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE)

Aerotransportes Entre Rios L-1049E Super Constellation LV-IXZ (c/n 4580) apparently at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) presumably in the late 1960's or early 1970's.  (Phil Perry Collection)    

This aircraft was delivered to QANTAS registered as VH-EAA on 28Feb55 flying for the Australian carrier until 1963.  It went on to fly for World Wide Airways of Canada and International Aerodyne before joining the AER fleet in 1967 until it was withdrawn from use at EZE in 1971 and scrapped.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

JetBlue continues to look at Long-Range Aircraft for Deep South America Service

Rumors persist that JetBlue continues to consider adding a long-range aircraft type to its fleet to add more international service, especially in South America where the low-cost carrier would add to its present flights to Colombia and new Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) - Lima (LIM) service that starts on November 13. 

An inside source at the airline has indicated that the most likely type of aircraft would be the A350 starting in 2016 to South America.  Initial service would presumably be from New York City (JFK) and/or Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to points beyond the range of JetBlue's present A320 fleet, such as Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Santiago de Chile (SCL), Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU).   

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Airports operated by Aeropuertos Argentinos 2000 see a 14.1% increase in Passenger Traffic in August 2013

Aeropuertos Argentinos 2000, the private concession that operates 33 airports in Argentina, including nearly all of the facilities with significant airline service (two notable exceptions being Rosario (ROS) and Ushuaia (USH)) reported an overall increase in passenger traffic at its member airfields of 6.1% in August 2013 over the year-earlier period with total passengers numbering 2,130,877. 

This included an average increase in domestic traffic of 14.1% and a decrease in international passengers of 2.5%.  

Numbers for some specific airports:

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP): 820,303 + 16.0%
Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE): 656,549 -7.2% 

Cordoba (COR): +5.0%
Iguazu Falls (IGR): +3.3%
Mendoza (MDZ): +5.8%
Salta (SLA): +5.5%
Tucuman (TUC): +11.9%

In the southern Patagonia / Tierra del Fuego region:

Bariloche (BRC): +16.2% 
Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD): +14.4%
Rio Gallegos (RGL): +7.6%
Rio Grande (RGA): +30.4%

Saturday, October 26, 2013

HISTORICAL PHOTO: Aerotransportes Entre Rios L-1049H Super Constellation LV-JIO at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE)

Aerotransportes Entre Rios L-1049H Super Constellation LV-JIO (c/n 4808) pictured at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) in the late 1960's or early 1970's.  (Phil Perry Collection) 

This aircraft was delivered to Seaboard & Western Airlines (later renamed Seaboard World Airlines) as N1010C on 18Feb57 but was immediately leased to and went into service with Eastern Airlines. It was subsequently leased to TAP - Transportes Aereos Portugueses, Capital Airlines and LEBCA of Venezuela before ending up with Aerotransportes Entre Rios in December 1968 with which it flew until 1971 before being retired in Miami where it was scrapped in 1972.

The L-1049H was a convertible passenger/freight version of the L-1049G with 53 manufactured, including the last Constellation built, which was handed over to Flying Tigers in 1959.  

The L-1049G was one of the last versions of a long line of Constellation variants, including the original L-049 model and others that followed it including the C-69, L-649, L-749, L-1049, L-1049C, L-1049D, L-1049E and more.  

Each variant generally offered performance improvements over previous versions with the biggest differences between the early versions and later ones being dimensions and powerplants.  For example, the L-1049G compared to the L-749 was 116 ft. long vs. 97 ft., it had a wingspan of 126 ft. vs. 123 ft. and it had four Wright R-3350-DA3 Turbo Compound 18-cylinder supercharged radial engines, rated at 3,250 hp (2,424 kW) each vs. the L-749's Wright R-3350-749C18BD-1 radial engines, which were rated at 2,500 hp (1,864 kW). 

Aerotransporte Entre Rios was founded in Argentina in 1962 as an all-cargo carrier transporting livestock around South America initially with C-46's, followed by an ex-KLM L-749 Constellation and four L-1049's.  Later. a Britannia and several CC-106's (version of the CL-44 built for the Royal Canadian Air Force) joined the fleet but AER lost the Britannia and two of the CC-106's in accidents, one in Miami and the other en route from Montevideo (MVD) to Santiago (SCL).  AER ceased services in the late 1970's. 

Latin Glory - Airlines of Latin America by Michael Magnusson, Airlife Publishing, 1995  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ROUTE UPDATES: Andes & Aerolineas Argentinas Summer Charters to Dominican Republic

Some of the charter flights planned for the coming southern hemisphere summer from Argentina to the Dominican Republic:

Aerolineas Argentinas from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Punta Cana (PUJ), 2x/week, probably with A330-200's.

Andes Lineas Aereas from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Puerto Plata (POP), 1x/week with MD-80's.

Andes Lineas Aereas from Cordoba (COR) to Samana (AZS), 1x/week with MD-80's.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cubana to Wet-Lease an A340-300 from Air Tahiti Nui for Argentina - Cuba Flights

Cubana de Aviacion will wet-lease A340-300, F-OLOV, from Air Tahiti Nui for the southern hemisphere summer season to operate six weekly flights from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Havana (HAV), Varadero (VRA), Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco (CCC), Cayo Largo de Sur (CYO), and Holguin (HOG).  

It is unclear if flights will actually operate to all of these airports and with what frequency, but Havana (HAV) and Varadero (VRA) are generally frequently-used by foreign carriers.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

ROUTE UPDATE: Austral to operate to Parana (PRA) after a 25-year absence

Austral will resume flights to Parana (PRA), a city of 400,000 people in Argentina's Entre Rios province across the Parana River from the city of Santa Fe, after a 25-year absence.  The airline last operated to Parana with BAC 1-11's in 1988.  

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Parana (PRA) service will be flown once daily in each direction with Austral's E-190's effective 01Mar14.  

Entre Rios province has its own airline, LAER (Lineas Aereas Entre Rios), that once operated the FMA IA-50 Guarani II (an Argentine transport aircraft), Jetstream 32's, and even the ATR-42 and F.28-4000.  Today the airline's services are flown by Macair Jetstream 32's which fly a few routes from Parana (PRA), including to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP).     

Sources: via Eric Trum

Monday, October 14, 2013

HISTORICAL PHOTO: Aerolineas Uruguayas L.749A Constellation, CX-BHC, at Montevideo (MVD)

Aerolineas Uruguayas L.749A Constellation, CX-BHC (c/n 2565)
at Montevideo (MVD) in the late 1960's.  (Phil Perry Collection)

There have been at least two, and maybe three airlines named Aerolineas Uruguayas.  There was the carrier that operated the above Constellation from 1968 until 1969 when it ceased operations plus one or more other carriers that operated 707 freighters and F.27 passenger aircraft. 

Lockheed L.749 Constellation CX-BHC (c/n 2565) was initially reserved for delivery to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1947 but it was not taken up by the Dutch carrier instead going to QANTAS with registration VH-EAB where it flew around Australia and Asia for several years before being withdrawn from service in October 1951 for conversion to L.749A standard.  This modification entailed a strengthened fuselage and floor, redesigned engine cowling, new Curtiss Electric propellers, and the MTOW (maximum takeoff weight) increased by 4,000 pounds.  Lockheed factory-delivered 59 L.749A's and many of the 60 original L.749's were converted to "A" standard.

c/n 2565 was sold to BOAC in 1955 and it went on to also fly with British carriers Skyways and Euravia (predecessor to Britannia and today's Thomson Airways) before flying with ACE Freighters until the carrier's demise in 1966. The aircraft then joined COPISA of Peru for a short time before going on to Aerolineas Uruguayas in 1968, where it flew for one year before being parked at Montevideo (MVD) until apparently being scrapped there sometime in the 1970's. 

Interestingly, c/n 2565's delivery registration of VH-EAB was later worn by a QANTAS 747SP and another Uruguayan airliner was later also registered CX-BHC, a Convair 240 flying for Aerolineas Colonia (ARCO) in the 1970's. 


Thursday, October 10, 2013

HISTORICAL PHOTO: CAUSA L-749 Constellation at Montevideo (MVD)

CAUSA Lockheed L-749A-79-3 Constellation at what appears to be Montevideo (MVD), presumably in the 1960's when the airline was operating this type.  The registration appears to be CX-BBM (but could be CX-BBN).  (Phil Perry collection)

CAUSA (Compania Aeronautica Uruguaya Sociedad Anonima) was a private Uruguayan airline that operated from 1938 to 1966 exclusively on routes linking Uruguay with Buenos Aires but the editor of this blog did find a couple of photos online of CAUSA Constellations at London-Gatwick (LGW) in October 1965, possibly operating a charter there.

The company started service with two 17-seat Junkers Ju-52's equipped with floats linking the ports of Montevideo and Buenos Aires.  The German-built aircraft wore registrations CX-ABA (c/n 5877) named "El Uruguayo" and the CX-ABB (c/n 5886) "El Argentino".  The Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay route, only 35 miles across the Rio de la Plata sea, was added in 1940, and Buenos Aires to the vacation resort of Punta del Este, also in Uruguay, was added in 1943.  These were the only three routes that CAUSA flew during its nearly 30 years in existence.

The airline went on to add three Short Sandringham flying boats to its fleet in 1946 and two Short Sunderlands in 1950.  By 1961 passengers were increasingly choosing to fly between land-based airports causing CAUSA to cease flying boat services in May 1962 in favor of flights between Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) using four Curtiss C-46's.  

These only lasted until 1964 when the airline decided to sell the planes to ARCO (Aerolineas Colonia) which flew them between Colonia (CYR) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) for a number of years.  CAUSA had already decided to purchase three L-749A Constellations from KLM in 1962 which they operated between Montevideo (MVD) and Aeroparque until the airline's demise in 1967. These were:

CX-BBM Lockheed L-749A-79-3 (c/n 2661) ex KLM PH-TFG "Friesland"
CX-BBN Lockheed L-749A-79-33 (c/n 2641) ex KLM PH-TFE "Utrecht"
CX-BCS Lockheed L-749A-79-33 (c/n 2640) ex KLM PH-TFD "Arnhem"

A larger L-1049H Constellation was leased in June 1966 and the airline was planning to fly from Montevideo (MVD) to Miami (MIA) and Sao Paulo but never did so prior to ceasing service.          


Monday, October 7, 2013

Alas-U - Latest Developments on PLUNA Replacement Airline

Alas-U, the airline being formed by former PLUNA workers, recently came to an agreement to purchase three of the former flag carrier's CRJ-900's that are owned by the trust formed by the Uruguayan government after the collapse of PLUNA.  

The Uruguayan government guaranteed the loans given to purchase the aircraft by ScotiaBank.  It has given Alas-U a two-year grace period during which the government will continue making the payments but after that the airline will need to pay US$ 47 million over a ten-year period.   

The Fondo de Desarrollo (FONDES) development fund approved the US$ 15 million loan to Alas-U that had been pending for months and will start to hand over the cash in installments shortly.  The three CRJ-900's will act as the guarantee for the loan and will be subject to being returned to the trust should Alas-U fail to make the loan payments.  An independent consultant will be contracted to maintain the government informed of developments and monitor the airline's adherence to the business plan presented to the FONDES.        

The airline has started the process of getting its operating certificate from the DINACIA (national civil aviation regulatory body) which the agency has 180 days to complete.  Unless the licensing is speeded up, Alas-U will not be able to start service until March 2014 when the peak summer season for visitors to Uruguay will be finished.  

This is very disappointing to the Uruguayan tourism industry as it was hoped that the airline would be up-and-running providing seats to bring in tourists and help keep airfares in check.  This will be the second summer without a substantial presence by a Uruguayan airline in the market although BQB Lineas Aereas has helped fill the gap.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Aerolineas Argentinas A340's to the Argentine Air Force or Converted to Freighters ?

With the pending delivery of A330-200's to the Aerolineas Argentinas fleet, the airline is considering removing some of it older A340's from service and transferring them to the Argentine Air Force, especially the ones that are due for major maintenance, which would then be the responsibility of the Air Force.   

Another possibility would be to convert them to freighters for use on foreign routes and to Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina, which is an important electronics manufacturing center.  However, freighter conversion is not cheap so the editor of this blog doubts that will happen.  

Finally, the aircraft might end up parked in "Chivato", a section of Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) where many aircraft are left abandoned for months or years awaiting scrapping. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ROUTE UPDATE: BQB Lineas Aereas to start flying Montevideo (MVD) - Sao Paulo (GRU) effective 27Oct13

BQB Lineas Aereas recently announced that they will start daily service from Montevideo (MVD) to Sao Paulo (GRU) effective 27Oct13 using ATR-72-600's. This will be the airline's second Brazilian destination after Porto Alegre (POA).


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Volga-Dnepr Airlines AN-124 visits Mendoza (MDZ)

Mendoza El Plumerillo Airport (MDZ) had an unusual visitor on 13Sep13 when Volga-Dnepr Airlines Antonov AN-124-100, RA-82047 (c/n 9773053259121) arrived from Houston (presumably Bush Intercontinental - IAH) with a technical stop in Lima (LIM).  

The AN-124's entire nose section swings upward allowing for the transport of very large shipments.  This visit was presumably to bring oversize equipment for the oil industry in Neuquen where there are huge shale oil reserves.    


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ROUTE UPDATE: TAM Linhas Aereas to start Rosario (ROS) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) service effective 01Jan14

TAM Brazilian Airlines A320, PR-MBC, at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 18Sep10, a few days after the airline started serving the airport. (Phil Perry photo)

In a surprise announcement, given that the Argentine ANAC (National Civil Aviation Administration) has denied Rosario (ROS) - Lima service to LAN Argentina and Rosario (ROS) - Panama City (PTY) to COPA in recent years, the Argentine Transport Secretary, Alejandro Ramos, a native of Santa Fe province where Rosario is located, announced recently that TAM Linhas Aereas will start service between Rosario (ROS) and its hub at Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) in Brazil, effective 01Jan14.

To operate the service, TAM will shift one of its existing Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) frequencies to Rosario.  The new route will presumably be operated with A320's like the Buenos Aires service.  Secretary Ramos claimed that the recent lengthening of Rosario's runway by the national government was key to the new service.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas A330 & A340 Fleet Deployment Plans

Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of the first of four A330-200's on lease from ILFC when LV-FNI (c/n 290), formerly with Malaysia Airlines arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 05Sep13.  The other three A330-200's, two from Air Australia and one more from Malaysian, are due to arrive one-by-one between now and November.  The aircraft, which are 13 years old on average, are being leased for US$ 380,000 per month.  The A330-200's will join AR's existing fleet of A340-200's and 300's which will itself grow when two more A340's join AR from Iberia later this year, including one which will be the first Aerolineas wide-bodied aircraft to be painted in Skyteam colors.    

The A340's currently fly to Barcelona (BCN), Madrid (MAD) and Rome (FCO) in Europe, Miami (MIA) in the U.S. and Sydney (SYD), Australia.  With the arrival of the A330's, the smaller aircraft will take over the Miami (MIA) flights, start the new New York - JFK service on 15Dec13, and fly to Ushuaia (USH) in southern Argentina that is a popular starting point for Antarctica cruises. Lima (LIM) might be added to the list of A330 destinations too.  

Although several European airlines operate the A330 on transatlantic services Aerolineas does not currently have that option as it is not certified for ETOPS (extended-range twin-engine operations) and its aircraft lack the necessary rest areas for more than one crew.

Friday, September 20, 2013

ROUTE UPDATES: Air Europa to start Salvador (SSA), Brazil Hub to Cordoba (COR), Montevideo (MVD) & Santiago (SCL)

The website of Spanish newspaper ABC reports that Air Europa will start a hub in Salvador de Bahia (SSA) with flights inbound from Madrid (MAD) continuing to Cordoba (COR), Montevideo (MVD) and Santiago (SCL).  

The airline has operated 3x/weekly Madrid (MAD) - Salvador (SSA) flights since 2003 and will now increase these to daily with onward flights to COR 2x/week, MVD 2x/week and SCL 3x/week.  The hub will be built up gradually starting in November with flights being added until April 2014 when the full schedule will be up-and-running just in time for the start of the 2014 World Cup, of which Salvador will be one of the host cities.

Salvador, with its tropical beaches is a strong touristic, gastronomic and cultural destination.  A spokesman for Grupo Globalia, owner of Air Europa, indicated that Salvador was chosen for the hub "for several reasons; it has a strategic geographic location, it is an established destination for tourism, and it has an airport and tourism infrastructure that will allow for an increase in the flow (of travelers)."  

Air Europa will apparently be allowed "Fifth Freedom" traffic rights to carry revenue passengers between Brazil and the other South American countries. Spain, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay collectively account for 210,000 of the 558,000 annual foreign visitors to Salvador and the regional government of Bahia (of which Salvador is the capital) estimates that the new flights will result in a 20% increase in this number.         


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

ROUTE UPDATES: Announced First Half 2013

The editor of this blog was traveling between March and June this year.  This airline route update will cover some of the route changes announced in the first half of this year.     

Airline               Routing                             Eff           Equip         Remarks

SOL                   AEP - Viedma (VDM)             09Apr13    Saab 340     2x/week

Andes                AEP - Salta (SLA)                 01May13   MD-80        Reduce 6x to 3x/week

Andes                AEP - Jujuy (JUJ)                  01May13   MD-80        Eliminating daily service 

BQB                   Montevideo (MVD) - EZE        15May13   ATR-72       4x/week

Austral               EZE - Belo Horizonte (CNF)     01Jun13     E190          Daily

Austral               AEP - Cordoba (COR) - Jujuy (JUJ) 02Jun13  E190       3x/week

TAME                 EZE - Quito (UIO)                 07Jun13     A319          Daily

Turkish               EZE - Istanbul (IST)             ??Jul13       A340-300    4x/week to daily 

Aerolineas Arg.     EZE - Brasilia (BSB)              01Aug13     737NG        Daily

Comments on Route Update:

* Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral have been steadily adding destinations in Brazil with Belo Horizonte (CNF) and Brasilia (BSB) being their fifth and sixth destinations after Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), Porto Alegre (POA) and Florianopolis (FLN) which is operated on a seasonal basis.    

* Andes has reduced service between Buenos Aires and its northwest Argentina base due to increasing competition from Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral and LAN Argentina.

* BQB Lineas Aereas has added service from Montevideo (MVD) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to connect with Aerolineas Argentinas flights to Miami (MIA), Madrid (MAD) and Barcelona (BCN) and Iberia flights to Madrid (MAD) with connections beyond. 

Sources: via Eric Trum    

Saturday, September 14, 2013

ROUTE UPDATE: Macair flew Jetstreams in Paraguay as Ad Maiora Lineas Aereas in early 2013 but service was short-lived

Macair Jetstream 32, LV-ZOW, (c/n 869) at Encarnacion (ENO) for its inaugural flight to Asuncion (ASU) on 18Jan13 (President Franco Photo via Twitter    

Macair, mostly known for flying subservices for Aerochaco and Lineas Aereas Entre Rios in Argentina (see posts of 04Nov12 and 08Nov12), operated a short-lived service in Paraguay earlier this year under the name of Ad Maiora Lineas Aereas.  

Flights were operated using Macair Jetstream 32's between Asuncion (ASU) and the newly-inaugurated airport in Encarnacion (ENO) 250 miles / 400km to the southeast of the Paraguayan capital.  The inaugural flight of the three-times weekly service took place on 18Jan13 with Paraguayan President Federico Franco present for the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.   

Photos of one aircraft painted with Ad Maiora Lineas Aereas titles appeared on more than one source online.  

The airline had plans to add service from Asuncion (ASU) to three other cities in Paraguay, Ciudad del Este (AGT), Saltos del Guairá and Pedro Juan Caballero (PJC) plus Resistencia (RES) in Argentina but after four months of the Encarnacion (ENO) operation, all flights were discontinued in May due to low passenger numbers.   

Oddly, the airline's website is still online as if the company was still operating normally.

             vuelos-en-paraguay-como-ad-maiora-lineas-aereas/                                                               Aviacion News 23May13                                      

Thursday, September 12, 2013

HISTORICAL PHOTO: Aero Regionales AN-24B, LZ-MND, at Montevideo (MVD)

Aero Regionales AN-24B, LZ-MND (c/n 97305307) at Montevideo (MVD) in 1994-95. (Phil Perry Collection)

This was the only Russian aircraft to fly for a Uruguayan airline that the editor of this blog is aware of and the carrier did not last long.  Originally formed as Aerolineas Regionales Uruguayas in 1993-94, the airline shortened its name to Aero Regionales in 1994-95.  Its fleet consisted of only one aircraft flying between Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP).    

LZ-MND was originally delivered to Aeroflot in 1969 but has flown for several airlines, most recently Air Urga of Ukraine and on lease to the United Nations at least as recently as 2007 when it was photographed in Belgrade, Serbia. 


Monday, September 9, 2013

FLEET UPDATE: Austral ERJ-190; Two New Deliveries Pending, One to be in Skyteam Colors

The two newest ERJ-190's for Austral, full designation is Embraer 190AR (ERJ-190-100IGW), are expected to be delivered to Argentina in the next couple of months.  They are:

(c/n 19000639) with Brazilian registration PR-ECH, to be LV-FPS painted in Skyteam colors with "delivery" expected on 16Sep13, arrival at Buenos Aires Aeropatque (AEP) on 27Sep13 and entry into service on 07Oct13.

Photos of this aircraft undergoing flight tests in Brazil from the the excellent blog Linea ALA:

(c/n 19000640) with Brazilian registration PR-ECI, to be LV-FPT with expected "delivery" on 14Oct13, arrival at Buenos Aires Aeropatque (AEP) on 15Oct13 and entry into service on 04Nov13. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

LAN Argentina Hangar Dispute - Arguments For & Against

The dispute over LAN Argentina's hangar at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) stirred much debate during the week of August 26-30 with arguments both for and against the measure. 



* Minister of Transport Florencio Randazzo explained the eviction as part of the Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) master plan put together in 2010 to reorganize the facility, including the use of its hangars, to accommodate growth of 100,000 passengers per month, with 850 million pesos (US$ 150 million at the official exchange rate) being invested in the project. 

* LAN Argentina operated out of AEP for three years, from 2005-2008, without the hangar so why is it so important now ?

* The hangar is not essential to LAN Argentina's operation, it can still operate in the country using hangars at other airports, such as Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE). 

* LAN Argentina has had special privileges not given to other airlines, such as discounted jet bridge access at AEP and handling services from ground operator InterCargo so it should not complain about the inconvenience of vacating the hangar.

* LAN Argentina limits its flying in Argentina to fourteen profitable city pairs, while Aerolineas Argentinas flies many more routes, many of which are to unprofitable smaller cities, another reason why LAN Argentina should not complain about abandoning the hangar.


* The airline invested US$ 5 million in building the hangar and pays US$ 20,000 rent plus it has a contract with the airport for its use until 2023.

* The airline actually did have a hangar that it rented at AEP from 2005-2008 prior to occupying its own hangar. 

* While LAN Argentina could use a hangar at EZE, ten of its twelve aircraft are based at AEP and ferrying them to EZE would incur costs and aircraft downtime that would have a significant financial impact on its operation.   

Blog Editor's Comments:

LAN Argentina gets no subsidies while Aerolineas Argentinas gets US$ 1 billion per year.  Compare this to the Essential Air Service program in the United States that subsidizes airline service at 112 airports on 150+ routes that totaled US$ 170 million in 2012.  Why does Aerolineas need six times as much money to subsidize flights to just a few dozen cities at best ?

The Argentine government seems intent on forcing LAN to leave Argentina. The hangar situation is only the latest measure that it has taken to make the company's Argentine operation more costly and difficult.  For a summary of some of these (and also multiple measures against other airlines) see the following blog entry from 20Dec12:

LAN operates divisions in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru without encountering the same difficulties in those countries.  The airline employs some 3,000 people in Argentina creating economic activity and paying taxes.  Why the adversarial approach to this company ? 


Monday, September 2, 2013

LAN Argentina Aeroparque Hangar Dispute Continues

LAN Argentina A320, LV-BRY, rotates at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 03Oct10. (Phil Perry Photo)

The dispute between LAN Argentina and the Argentine government over the airline's hangar at Buenos Aeroparque (AEP) has been suspended indefinitely after a tumultuous week of events stemming from the government order issued on Tuesday, 20Aug13 for the company to abandon the hangar by Thursday, 29Aug13.  The week unfolded as follows:   

Monday, August 26:

* LAN Argentina filed a request with the courts that the order be suspended.

* The government television program 6,7,8 referred to LAN Argentina as the "flagship airline of the opposition" in reference to those opposed to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.  LAN Argentina Public Affairs spokesman Agustin Agraz criticized this remark noting that all of LAN Argentina's employees are Argentine and that the airline wants to keep growing and hiring employees.

* Two unions, the APTA (Association of Aeronautical Technical Personnel) and ATCPEA (Flight Attendants Union), protested the government order inside the Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) terminal and also by partially blocking the major roadway outside the airport known as the "Costanera".

ATCPEA spokesman Ricardo Cirielli indicated that the union would shut down air transportation in Argentina on Thursday, 29Aug13 with a strike affecting all the domestic airlines and even international flights because the air traffic controllers would participate in the action too.   

The goal of the measure was for the government to suspend the hangar eviction notice. 

* The head of ORSNA (National Airport Regulatory Agency), Gustavo Lipovich, indicated that if LAN Argentina did not abandon the hangar, the government would start legal proceedings against the company but that there would be no forced eviction.

* reported that the government is willing to let LAN Argentina continue using the AEP hangar until it can move to EZE.  It even offered the airline the possibility of more international route rights but LAN Argentina rejected the idea.

Wednesday, August 28:

* The Argentine justice dept. issued a restraining order prohibiting the government from forcibly evicting the airline from its hangar giving the government five days to "provide an update on the situation".  One of the reasons cited for issuing the order was that LAN Argentina was not given enough time to state its case against it.  

Thursday, August 29:

* Argentine Minister of Transport Florencio Randazzo stated that "we do not want to throw any airline out of Argentina" and indicated that the government had requested the Chilean and Brazilian authorities (LAN is part of LATAM, a Chilean and Brazilian airline holding company) reciprocal rights for Aerolineas Argentinas to be able to operate domestically in those countries.    

* The Chilean government replied that Aerolineas is free to operate in Chile and did so with its affiliate Aerolineas del Sur for several years in the 2000's but closed it voluntarily in 2008.   

* Argentine Vice Minister of the Economy Axel Kicillof met with LAN Airlines President Ignacio Cueto in Buenos Aires, where among other things, he asked Cueto to produce a technical report explaining why LAN Argentina could not operate in Argentina without the Aeroparque hangar. 

* LAN's Cueto claims that it would be very "viable" for Aerolineas Argentinas to operate in Chile and that it is fairly "fast and simple" to get authorized to do so. 

Friday, August 30: 

* Aerolineas Argentinas President Mariano Recalde replied to the claims of the Chilean government and Cueto that it would be easy for Aerolineas to operate in Chile by saying that LAN is famous for "dumping airfares" in the markets it operates to eliminate competition.  


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Turkish Airlines to operate Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Istanbul (IST) Non-Stop ?

Turkish Airlines increased its Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Istanbul (IST) service from 4x/weekly to daily on 02Jul13 with a change in aircraft type from the the 777-300ER's (that it started the route with on 11Dec12) to A340-300's.  Turkish will reportedly revert to 777-300ER's on 02Oct13.  

In other news, reader Andreas Fliflet reports that the Turkish Airlines website allows EZE-GRU and GRU-IST bookings but not EZE-IST on select dates in January, suggesting that the airline might be getting their CRS ready to take EZE-IST non-stop bookings, which would be consistent with the carrier's recent talk of introducing 2x/daily non-stops between EZE and IST in the next couple of years.

Alternatively, the airline could be reducing frequencies out of EZE.  Finally, this could all be CRS anomalies while they reset schedules but the possibility of non-stop flights is interesting.    

Sources:   Andreas Fliflet

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Will the ANAC Attend ?

Las Vegas, Nevada will host the 19th annual World Air Routes 2013 convention from October 5-8, where representatives of airports the world over will gather to make presentations to some 3000 airline representatives from over 100 countries to try to convince them to start service to their destinations.    

Question is:  Will the ANAC (Argentine Civil Aviation Directorate) or representatives from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) attend to try to draw new airline service to Argentina ?  I think the answer is "No, definitely not" !   

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas A330 & A340 Pending Deliveries

* AIRBUS A330's:

Delivery of the four A330's that Aerolineas Argentinas was supposed to receive in July and August has been postponed with the first two now due to arrive in August and September.  They are:

A330-223 (c/n 290) to be re-registered LV-FNI, presently parked at Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and due to arrive at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) approx. 13Aug13.

A330-223 (c/n 300) to be re-registered LV-FNJ, also presently parked at KUL and due to arrive at EZE approx. 15Sep13.

The blog "Aviones en Ezeiza" reports that these aircraft will almost certainly be used first on the Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Bogota (BOG), Caracas (CCS) and Cancun (CUN) routes until they become ETOPS-certified when they will be able to fly transoceanic routes.  

* AIRBUS A340's:

Two A340's are expected to be delivered in the next couple of months too replacing some of the ones that have been departing the Aerolineas fleet:

A340-313X (c/n 193) to be re-registered LV-FPV is currently parked at Brussels (BRU) and is expected to be delivered sometime after 15Sep13. It has already been painted in Skyteam colors featuring a silver fuselage. 

A340-313X (c/n 170) to be re-registered LV-FPU is parked at Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and is scheduled to be delivered after 01Oct13.