Tuesday, February 4, 2014

BQB Lineas Aereas Planning to Add New Routes & Aircraft in 2014

Building on its growth in 2013 that saw the airline add more aircraft to its fleet for a total of four ATR-72-500's & one A320, plus new routes to several cities, mostly in Brazil, BQB Lineas Aereas' CEO Juan Patricio Lopez has indicated that the carrier plans to add two more ATR-72's and three A319's to its fleet in 2014 (the A320 is due to be returned to Vueling at the end of March). 

To service the expansion, the carrier wants to hire approx. 80 Uruguayan staff including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and other operations personnel, aiming to lure back Uruguayan nationals that have gone abroad in pursuit of employment opportunities at foreign airlines.

New routes that the airline aspires to add next year include Santa Cruz, Bolivia (VVI) plus Cordoba (COR) and Mendoza (MDZ), both in Argentina.  BQB might have difficulty getting authorization from the Argentine authorities to operate these last two routes, which PLUNA also wanted to add to their route network but were never approved for.  However, BQB is part of the larger Buquebus ferry line and tourism group that is very active in Argentina which might give them more influence and bargaining power in the country.    

Editor's Note:  BQB seems to be replacing PLUNA step-by-step on the routes that the former Uruguayan national carrier operated on, leaving perhaps little need or opportunity for Alas Uruguay, the airline proposed to replace PLUNA with much of its former staff. 



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