Thursday, March 6, 2014

ROUTE UPDATES: Argentina Airline Route Additions & Changes

Andes Lineas Aereas - Effective 15Feb14

The Salta-based airline was scheduled to increase its MD-80 service from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Puerto Madryn (PMY) on the Patagonian Atlantic coast from 3x/weekly to 5x/weekly in mid-February.   

The government of the province of Chubut, where Puerto Madryn is located, agreed to pay a portion of the carrier's fuel costs on the route in return for free tickets for government employees traveling on business. More importantly, Puerto Madryn is a major destination for nature tourism, especially whale-watching, and it needs convenient flights to assure air connectivity for tourists.  

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines - Effective February 2014

Extended its 3x/weekly Amsterdam (AMS) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) service to Santiago (SCL) for the first time since 2000 when the carrier dropped the route due to a restructuring of its long-haul flights.  

The airline, which operates 777-300's on the route, has "Fifth-Freedom" rights to sell tickets between EZE and SCL and vice versa.  "Fifth Freedom" refers to an airline from one country selling tickets on flights between two other countries.  

Similar "Fifth Freedom" rights are exercised by Air Canada, also between EZE and SCL, Emirates and Qatar between EZE and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), and Air France between EZE and Montevideo (MVD) offering passengers some interesting choices when flying between these cities.  
Aerolineas Argentinas - Effective 02Mar14

Will convert its 1x/weekly Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Cancun (CUN) flights from charters to regularly scheduled service with the flights increasing to 3x/weekly, all operated with A340's on 04Jul14.  

Apparently, the main reason for the conversion is the non-renewal of the contracts between the airline and tour operators that packaged the destination due to a 32% drop in travelers in December alone.  This is probably because of the increasing difficulty to buy U.S. dollars in Argentina for foreign travel.  As a result, one would question how well the scheduled service will do.        

Sources: via Eric Trum

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