Thursday, August 7, 2014

BQB Lays Off / Makes Redundant 55 Workers Apparently due to Argentina Route Denials

BQB Lineas Aereas laid off / made redundant 55 workers last week, apparently due to Argentina route applications that it made being denied by the Argentine government.  The personnel losing their jobs are mostly flight and cabin crew that were to be deployed on new routes, such as to Cordoba (COR).  

The carrier's service plans for August from Montevideo include 14x/weekly flights to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), 6x/weekly to Asuncion (ASU) and 6x/weekly to Porto Alegre (POA).  Flights to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Curitiba (CWB), Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), Santiago (SCL), and Sao Paulo (GRU) are being abandoned, at least for the time being. 

The Uruguayan airline is reportedly also cancelling a lease on an A319 but it is not clear if that is in reference to the sole A319 currently in its fleet or one that was due to arrive later this year. 

Editor's Note:  

The claim that the layoffs are due to Argentina route denials seems doubtful because this is the first that I have heard in at least a couple of years of BQB aspiring to fly to Argentine points beyond Buenos Aires. Also, PLUNA's failure was due in large part to its inability to gain route rights from Argentina that would have enabled the carrier to feed its six Brazilian destinations out of Montevideo (MVD).  It is hard to believe that BQB expected to be approved for the same routes that were denied to PLUNA.

It sounds more like some of BQB's routes have not been as successful as the carrier would have liked, maybe due to slow economic growth in the "Southern Cone" countries and Brazil as Aviacion News pointed out in its 31Jul14 issue, so the carrier is simply scaling back growth to meet demand.     

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