Saturday, December 5, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: LAN Argentina A320, LV-CKV, rejoined the carrier's fleet

LAN Argentina A320, LV-CKV (c/n 1568), at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 11Oct15.  The aircraft rejoined the airline's fleet on 01Sep15 after a 10-month hiatus flying for parent airline LAN in Chile. (Phil Perry Photo)    

Dear Readers:

I have been very busy with work the last two months so I have not posted to this blog.  I am not sure when I will resume regular postings because I will be traveling for about a month starting in early January but I would suggest that you check back every couple of weeks for postings that summarize the latest happenings and photos of the Argentine and Uruguayan airline scene. 

Best Wishes,

Phil Perry 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Was Air Class 727-227F CX-CLB delivered ?

The blog Aviacion Civil Uruguaya displayed a photo of Air Class Cargo 727-227F, CX-CLB (c/n 21996/1571), in a posting dated 18Jun15, yet there is no evidence that the aircraft was ever delivered to complement Air Class' other 727-214F, CX-CAR (c/n 21958/1533). Additionally, CX-CLB is listed as being for sale on the following website and the aircraft is reportedly parked in Florida, USA.

Photo on Aviacion Civil Uruguaya:

For Sale listing:

Air Class has reportedly been flying Montevideo (MVD) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Asuncion (ASU) round-trip cargo flights using CX-CAR since 2011.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: LAN Peru to introduce Montevideo (MVD) - Lima (LIM) service on 03Jan16

LAN Peru will start service from Montevideo (MVD) to Lima (LIM) on 03Jan16, five times weekly using A319's. The flights will allow connections through the LATAM group's Lima hub to domestic points in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Central and North America.  

This will be the LATAM group's fifth route from Uruguay, the other four being Montevideo (MVD) to Santiago (SCL), presently operated by LAN, plus Montevideo (MVD) to Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) and both Montevideo (MVD) and Punta de Este (PDP) to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), all three flown by TAM.         

Monday, September 28, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Azul to add Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP) and Porto Alegre (POA) to Punta del Este (PDP) Summer Seasonal Service

Azul Linhas Aereas ERJ-195, PR-AYK (c/n 19000374), at Rio de Janeiro - Santos Dumont (SDU) on 13Aug12.  (Phil Perry Photo)  

Azul Linhas Aereas of Brazil will fly summer seasonal service from Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP) and Porto Alegre (POA) to Punta del Este (PDP), Uruguay, using ERJ-195's and ATR-72's, respectively. The flights will be operated on Thursdays and Sundays, effective 17Dec15 to 14Feb16, with extra sections during the Christmas and Carnival holiday periods. 


Sunday, September 27, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Austral to Receive 23rd and 24th ERJ-190's in November and December

Austral will receive two ERJ-190's, the 23rd and 24th such aircraft in its fleet, from Republic Airways in November and December this year. The aircraft, which are currently parked out of service in Peterborough (YPQ), Ontario, Canada, will be registered LV-GAQ (c/n 19000275) and LV-GBK (c/n 19000291).  They were originally delivered to Republic in 2009 and differ from Austral's standard fleet in that they have 104 seats vs. the rest of the Austral fleet's 96 seats (88 economy and 8 first class) and do not have inflight entertainment systems.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

More Details: Sol Lineas Aereas Marketing Agreement with Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral

Sol Lineas Aereas' first CRJ-200, EC-IVH (c/n 7915), is due to enter service with the carrier on October 18 or 19 on the "Petroleum Route"; Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Rosario (ROS) - Cordoba (COR) - Neuquen (NQN) - Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD), so named because Neuquen and Comodoro Rivadavia are important oil industry centers in Argentina's Patagonia region.   

In addition to serving as a feeder to existing Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral services, Sol will use the six CRJ-200's that it is due to receive in the coming months to fly some of the "thinner" routes that do not have enough traffic to support the use of AR/AU's larger jets plus open up new services, which typically take time to develop for the use of larger aircraft.

The Uruguayan travel blog Portal de America reports that AR/AU has agreed to pay Sol guaranteed fixed rates per block hour of US$ 3,144 for its Saab 340's and US$ 3,885 for its CRJ-200's, which at six hours per day for a 31-day month total US$ 584,784 and US$ 722,610, respectively.  "Portal" contends that this amounts to a subsidy with AR/AU effectively absorbing the Sol operation, but the agreement is similar to arrangements that US carriers have had with their feeders so this would be a matter of debate.


Friday, September 25, 2015

FLEET UPDATE & PHOTO LINK: Andes MD-88, LV-VBX, with Andes titles in old Aerolineas Argentinas colors

Andes Lineas Aereas took delivery of ex-Aerolineas Argentinas MD-88, LV-VBX (c/n 53047/2016) on 28Aug15.  It was photographed that same day with Andes Lineas Aereas titles in the last Aerolineas Argentinas colors worn by the MD-80 series as shown in this link from the excellent Argentine aviation blog Linea ALA:

The aircraft was delivered to Aerolineas Argentinas on 27Aug92 and went on to Austral in 2005 before rejoining Aerolineas in 2010 until its retirement from the Argentine national carrier's fleet on 10Apr12.  

Andes Lineas Aereas has operated approximately a dozen MD-80 series aircraft including two shorter-fuselage MD-87's with three aircraft currently active: LV-WGM (c/n 49784/1627), LV-AYD (c/n 53015/1818), and LV-CCJ (c/n 49621/1495), soon to be joined by LV-VBX and LV-WGN (c/n 49934/1764).

Andes flies a small scheduled domestic network in Argentina covering its home base Salta (SLA), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), and Puerto Madryn (PMY) plus many charters, especially for pro soccer teams, entertainment stars on tour, and school trips to the lake and ski resort of Bariloche (BRC).

LV-VBX at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 06Feb11 when it was still in service with Aerolineas Argentinas. (Phil Perry Photo)


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: First Sol CRJ-200 arrives at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE)

Sol Lineas Aereas' first CRJ-200 arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) yesterday, 21Sep15.  The aircraft is, as identified in a previous post, the ex-Air Nostrum airframe EC-IVH (c/n 7915). It departed Valencia (VLC) Spain on 20Sep15 and routed via Nelson Mandela International Airport (RAI), Santiago Island, Cape Verde plus presumably somewhere in Brazil after crossing the Atlantic.  

Still wearing its Spanish registration, the aircraft will presumably receive an Argentine registration prior to its entry into service in Sol's new role as an Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral feeder airline in October.  Sol is due to receive five more CRJ-200's from Air Nostrum over the next six months. 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

FLEET UPDATE & PHOTO LINK: Sol Lineas Aereas first CRJ-200 Painted in Austral Colors !

The first CRJ-200 that Sol will reportedly take delivery of to start fulfilling its expanded code-share agreement with Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral has appeared painted in Austral colors but with Sol titles and a different tail logo from Aerolineas' sister carrier.  

This was somewhat unexpected as there has been no announcement of a color scheme change.  However, with Sol transforming itself into a feeder carrier for Aerolineas / Austral, it should not be too surprising that the carrier would abandon its "house" colors in favor of the Austral scheme for greater marketing consistency.

The aircraft in question is currently still with Air Nostrum of Spain as EC-IVH (c/n 7915) but is expected to be delivered to Austral on 22Sep15 and enter into service in mid-October. 

Recent photo of the aircraft in Montpellier, France as published by Rwandan Aviation via the excellent Argentine aviation blog Rollout Spotting:

An artist's impression of a CRJ-200 in Sol "house" colors as posted in late August, also from Rollout Spotting:


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: United to fly 787-9's, not 787-8's, between Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) effective 25Oct15

As reported in a posting dated 21May15, United will replace its existing daily non-stop 767-300 service between Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) with 787's, effective 25Oct15.  United will be the fifth airline operating the 787 to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), joining LAN, Avianca, AeroMexico, and American Airlines.  

However, the editor of this blog has since learned that United will fly the longer-fuselage and higher-capacity 787-9 on the route, being only the second carrier to operate the newer variant to EZE, the other being LAN, which upgraded its existing 787-8 service from Santiago (SCL) to the 787-9 on 01Apr15.  United is also the first and so far only US carrier to have taken delivery of the 787-9. 

United's 787-9's have a fuselage length of 186 ft. (56.7 m) and are configured with 48 Business First, 88 Economy Plus and 116 Economy seats for a total capacity of 252 passengers compared to United's 787-8's which measure 206 ft. (62.8 m) long and have 36 Business First, 70 Economy Plus, and 113 Economy seats totaling 219 available seats.  

Nearly all of the additional seats on the 787-9 are premium seats suggesting that the airline is primarily targeting higher-fare passengers for the increased traffic that it anticipates.  


Monday, September 14, 2015

ex-PLUNA Viscount CX-BJA to be restored by the Uruguayan Museum of Aeronautics

Former PLUNA Viscount 827, CX-BJA (c/n 400), on display as a "gate guard" beside the old Montevideo (MVD) terminal in the early 1980's colors that the carrier's three 737-200's, CX-BOO, BOO and BOP were delivered in. (Phil Perry Collection)      

ex-PLUNA Viscount 827, CX-BJA (c/n 400), which was on exhibit for many years at Montevideo (MVD) as a "gate guard" and then stored in the open, is due to be restored by the Uruguayan Museum of Aeronautics in the near future. 

CX-BJA was first delivered to VASP of Brazil as PP-SRF in 1958/1959 where it flew until November 1975 when PLUNA bought it to replace Viscount CX-AQO which was written off after running off the runway at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) earlier that year. CX-BJA flew on PLUNA's route system, mostly the "Air Bridge" linking Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), until it was retired in 1982.  

The aircraft's titles were removed and it was used as a fire trainer until October 1988 when it was decided to preserve the plane.  Although the aircraft was donated to the museum, it was painted in the blue/orange color scheme used by the airline at that time (pictured above) and put on display beside Montevideo's (MVD) old terminal as a "gate guard" in 1991. 

PLUNA's Viscount fleet actually never flew in these colors having instead sported a light blue cheatline scheme (pictured below) with one aircraft, CX-AQO, having its tail painted up in the same lively orange/blue scheme of PLUNA's first 737-200, CX-BHM, that was delivered in 1969.    
PLUNA Viscount 810, CX-BIZ (c/n 316), wearing the airline's standard Viscount color scheme in Montevideo (MVD) in March 1980. (Al Rodriguez Photo, Phil Perry Collection) 

When construction of Montevideo's (MVD) new terminal started in 2004, CX-BJA was moved to a remote location of the airport where it languished decaying from exposure to the elements until it was recently moved near to the museum adjacent to the new terminal.    

The aircraft will be restored, at least to the extent of having its exterior painted, hopefully in the standard PLUNA Viscount colors of the 1960's and 1970's.  Plans are to display it at the Museum of Aeronautics.    

Photos of the move:


Friday, September 11, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: PLUNA CRJ-900 Fleet - All 13 Aircraft - Part 2 of 2

All photos by Blog Editor Phil Perry:

Registration:        CX-CRH
Construction #:    15233
Delivery Date:      03Sep10
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
Stored:               July 2012 as C-GUHF by Bombardier
New Operator:     17Jun13 to Mesa Airlines as N244LR


Registration:        CX-CRI
Construction #:    15234
Delivery Date:      29Sep10
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12, returned to lessor
New Operator:     08May13 to Mesa Airlines as N245LR


Registration:        CX-CRK
Construction #:    15239
Delivery Date:      30Oct10
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
New Operator:     08May13 to Mesa Airlines as N246LR


Registration:        CX-CRL
Construction #:    15273
Delivery Date:      21Sep11
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12, returned to lessor
New Operator:     10Apr13 to Mesa Airlines as N247LR


Registration:        CX-CRM
Construction #:    15274
Delivery Date:      29Oct11
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12, returned to lessor and stored as C-GUHY 
New Operator:     19Jul13 to Mesa Airlines as N248LR


Link to Photo of CX-CRN:

Registration:        CX-CRN
Construction #:    15275
Delivery Date:      19Nov11
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12, returned to lessor 
New Operator:     10Apr13 to Mesa Airlines as N249LR


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: PLUNA CRJ-900 Fleet - All 13 Aircraft - Part 1 of 2

This is the first of two postings containing photos of all 13 PLUNA CRJ-900's in the form of 12 photos and one photolink accompanied by the respective aircraft histories.  This first posting features illustrations of the seven company-owned aircraft and the second posting will feature all of the leased airframes. 

All of the photos were taken by the editor of this blog, Phil Perry.    

Registration:      CX-CRA
Construction #:  15165
Delivery Date:    13Mar08
Ceased Ops:       06Jul12
Departed MVD:   06Jul15 to Skyservice Business Aviation
Currently stored, will join GoJet Airlines


Registration:       CX-CRB
Construction #:   15169
Delivery Date:     27Mar08
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
Departed MVD:    13May15 to Skyservice Business Aviation as C-GMXJ
New Operator:     15Jul15 to GoJet Airlines


Registration:       CX-CRC
Construction #:   15175
Delivery Date:     29Apr08
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
Departed MVD:    19Feb15 to Skyservice Business Aviation as C-GMXB
New Operator:     01Jun15 to GoJet Airlines as N182GJ


Registration:       CX-CRD
Construction #:   15180
Delivery Date:     03Jun08
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
Departed MVD:    07Aug15 to Skyservice Business Aviation
Currently stored, will join GoJet Airlines


Registration:       CX-CRE
Construction #:   15185
Delivery Date:     03Jul08
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
Departed MVD:    22May15 to Skyservice Business Aviation as C-GMXQ
Currently stored, will join GoJet Airlines


Registration:       CX-CRF
Construction #:   15204
Delivery Date:     18Nov08
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
Departed MVD:    12Jan15 to Skyservice Business Aviation as C-GSKK
New Operator:     04May15 to GoJet Airlines as N181GJ


Registration:       CX-CRG
Construction #:   15209
Delivery Date:     17Dec08
Leased:              05Jun09 to Aerovip of Argentina as LV-BYW.  This was an attempt by PLUNA to                          start an Argentine affiliate.    
Returned:            01Jan11 to PLUNA as CX-CRG again             
Ceased Ops:        06Jul12
Departed MVD:    18Mar15 to Skyservice Business Aviation as C-GMXH
New Operator:     25Jun15 to GoJet Airlines as N183GJ

Photo of this aircraft with Aerovip titles and Argentine registration:


Monday, September 7, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Last Three ex-PLUNA CRJ-900's depart Montevideo (MVD)

The fifth, sixth and seventh ex-company-owned PLUNA CRJ-900's departed Montevideo (MVD) in May, July, and August, respectively, leaving none of the former Uruguayan flag carrier's Canadair regional jets at the capital airport.

CX-CRE (c/n 15185) departed Montevideo (MVD), probably already re-registered as C-GMXQ, on 22May15 and joined Skyservice Business Aviation of Toronto.  It was in storage as of August 2015 but is due to go to GoJet Airlines of Bridgeton, Missouri, a regional jet operator that feeds both Delta and United with 45 CRJ-700's and 4 CRJ-900's operating 220 daily flights to 60 destinations and carrying over 4 million passengers annually. 

CX-CRA (c/n 15165) left Montevideo (MVD) on 06Jul15 registered as C-GMXY, also to Skyservice and also due to go to GoJet.  

CX-CRD (c/n 15180) was the very last ex-PLUNA CRJ-900 to leave Montevideo (MVD), more than three years after the airline ceased service, on 07Aug15 also to Skyservice and eventually GoJet.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: Link to Artist's Image of Sol Lineas Aereas' CRJ-200

With Sol due to receive six CRJ-200's from Air Nostrum of Spain over the next few months, the excellent Argentine aviation blog Rollout Spotting recently published an artist's image of a CRJ-200 painted in full Sol colors:  

These will hopefully be gracing Argentine skies soon ! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Lineas Aereas del Estado (LADE) to take delivery of two ERJ-135's in late October / early November

Lineas Aereas del Estado (LADE), which is run by the Fuerza Aerea Argentina, is scheduled to take delivery of two ERJ-135's on a wet-lease within the next 60 days. These aircraft will reportedly replace the few remaining Fuerza Aerea Argentina F-28's used by LADE and will complement the four Saab 340B's flown by the carrier mostly on routes to the lightly-populated Patagonia region of southern Argentina.  

LADE's historical mission since its founding in 1944 has been to foster the development of remote regions and at one time served some 30 communities but today flies to only 10 airports; Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Mar del Plata (MDQ) in the province of Buenos Aires, Bariloche (BRC), Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) and Puerto Madryn (PMY) in northern Patagonia, Calafate (FTE), Rio Turbio (RYO), Rio Gallegos (RGL), Rio Grande (RGA), and Ushuaia (USH) in southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.      


Thursday, September 3, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: LAN Argentina A320 LV-FUX with special "Copa America - Chile 2015" Stickers

The Copa America - Chile 2015 football/soccer championships with national teams from all over the Americas participating was played in Chile in July and August and to celebrate the occasion, the Chilean airline LAN and some of its South American affiliates, including TAM, applied special "Copa America Chile 2015" stickers to select aircraft in their fleets.     

The excellent Argentine aviation blog, Gaceta Aeronautica, noted that at least 38 aircraft from the LAN fleet plus one TAM airplane had the stickers applied, including 3 A319's each of LAN and LAN Ecuador, 24 A320's of LAN, 4 A320's of LAN Argentina, 4 767-300's of LAN, and 1 TAM 777-300. 

The LAN Argentina A320's were LV-BET, LV-BRY, LV-BSJ and LV-FUX pictured below.

LAN Argentina A320, LV-FUX (c/n 4543), taxiing at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 15Jul15 with special "Copa America Chile 2015" sticker.  (Phil Perry Photo)   

For the full list of 39 aircraft that wore the sticker, visit the following Gacena Aeronautica webpage and scroll about a third of the way down the page:       

View the following YouTube video of the sticker being applied to a LAN 767-300:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

PHOTO LINK: Andes added Racing Club stickers and titles to MD-83 LV-AYD

Andes Lineas Aereas operated a charter for the Racing football/soccer club to Paraguay to play a Copa Libertadores match against local side Guarani on 20May15.  To honor the occasion, the airline added a sticker (or painted on) the club's logo to the nose of the MD-83 operating the flight, LV-AYD (c/n 53015/1818) and added small titles saying "Racing Club El Primer Grande Argentino" (Racing Club, the first great Argentine club).  The stickers were apparently on the aircraft for a very short time as the editor of this blog has not seen any other photos of the plane with them on it.

Link to photo on the blog Rollout Spotting:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas to add Cordoba (COR) - Cancun (CUN) seasonal service, effective 02Jan16

Aerolineas Argentinas will add seasonal service from Cordoba (COR) to Cancun (CUN) 1x/weekly on Saturdays using A340-300's, effective 02Jan16 - 29Feb16.

At the same time, Aerolineas will upgrade its existing Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Cancun (CUN) one-stop 737NG service to non-stop A340-300 flights for the summer season, also 02Jan16 - 29Feb16.  The carrier flies this route 2x/weekly in the Argentine winter and 4x/weekly in the summer. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of four new 737-800's from Boeing in August

Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of no fewer than four factory-fresh 737-800's from Boeing in August. 

The first aircraft to be delivered was 737-8LP, LV-FWS (c/n 41711/5136), on 12Aug15 when it flew from Seattle's Boeing Field (BFI) to Caracas (CCS) where it overnighted prior to continuing to Argentina the next day.  LV-FWS entered service with AR on 23Aug15 when it operated flight AR1870 on a Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Calafate (FTE) - Ushuaia (USH) - Calafate (FTE) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) routing. 

Next up was 737-8MB, LV-FXQ (c/n 43881/5539), leased from ICBC Financial Leasing, a branch of the Chinese bank, which was delivered on 19Aug15 but flew from Boeing Field to San Salvador (SAL) without immediately continuing to Argentina because the aircraft is undergoing modification work to its passenger cabin at the Salvadoran airport.     

Aerolineas next took delivery of 737-8MB, LV-FYK (c/n 43882/5546), leased from Air Lease Corporation, on 26Aug15 but it also stopped in San Salvador (SAL) for modifications where it is currently.

The fourth 737 to be delivered to Aerolineas in August was 737-8SH LV-FVO (c/n 41356/5550) which the airline took possession of on 27Aug15 and flew from Boeing Field to Caracas (CCS) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), arriving on the evening of 28Aug15.    

These four aircraft are the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd 737-800's to join Aerolineas Argentinas fleet. 


Friday, August 28, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas 737-800, LV-FVO, landed at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on delivery flight at 21:07 local time tonight

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-8SH, LV-FVO (c/n 41356/5550) landed at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on its delivery flight (designated as AR1085) at 21:07 tonight, approx. 40 minutes prior to this posting. The aircraft departed Seattle's Boeing Field (BFI) yesterday morning and overnighted in Caracas (CCS) before continuing its journey to Argentina today. 

LV-FVO joins 22 737-700's and 19 other 737-800's in Aerolineas Argentinas' fleet of 737NG's. 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Austral reportedly to add 2 more ERJ-190's by end of 2015

Austral ERJ-190, LV-FPS (c/n 639), in special Skyteam colors was the 21st ERJ-190 to be delivered to the airline on 26Sep13.  (Phil Perry Photo)

Austral Lineas Aereas will reportedly take delivery of two Republic Airways' ERJ-190's as they come off lease with the US regional carrier in the coming months. Republic is looking to dispose of the six ERJ-190's in its fleet and standardize on the ERJ-170 of which it currently has 112 in service.

The two specific airframes that Austral will likely receive are N164HQ (c/n 275) and N165HQ (c/n 291).  The Argentine airline already has 22 owned ERJ-190's, 20 from an initial order placed in the late 2000's which were delivered in 2010/11, plus 2 more delivered in 2013.  The two soon-to-be ex Republic aircraft will be leased.  Austral is also expected to add what would be their 25th and 26th ERJ-190's in 2016.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

HISTORIC PHOTO: A380 F-WWJB visits Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 09Dec07

Airbus A380-861, F-WWJB (c/n 007), in house colors at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 09Dec07.  (Phil Perry Photo)

The editor of this blog happened to fly from Montevideo (MVD) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on the second day of what appears to have been the giant aircraft's first visit to Argentina.  The A380 arrived at EZE on 08Dec07 coming from Sydney (SYD) as part of a world sales tour. 

c/n 007 first flew on 19Feb06, was delivered to Emirates on 12Dec09 and re-registered as A6-EDF. Though it was not the first A380 delivered to Emirates, it is the oldest A380 in the airline's fleet. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: TAM added Punta del Este (PDP) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) service effective 02Jul15

TAM added new 2x/weekly service between Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Punta del Este (PDP), effective 02Jul15.  The flights will initially operate on Thursdays and Sundays using A320's with greater frequency likely during the summer high season next January and February.  

The new service is being launched with the help of a marketing agreement with the Conrad Punta del Este resort, casino and convention center, the Uruguayan resort destination's highest profile entertainment and lodging facility.  The promise of the new flight is that passengers from all over TAM's network will have easy access to Punta del Este through TAM's Sao Paulo Guarulhos' hub. Main points of origination will likely be airports from nearly all of TAM's network, including Brazil from Porto Alegre north, the Americas from Peru all the way to the USA plus Europe.  

TAM will presumably codeshare at some point with other airlines from the Oneworld airline alliance through its GRU hub, such as British Airways from London and possibly other European airports too, extending access to Punta del Este to many points worldwide.

Sources: via Eric Trum         

Saturday, August 22, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas added Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA) service effective 04Jul15

Aerolineas Argentinas reintroduced Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA) service on 04Jul15 to be operated on Saturdays and Sundays with A340-300's, although A330's have been schedule on the route on Sundays for two months between July and September.  The airline last flew between the two cities 4x/weekly with 747-200's in January 1999.   

Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral are also operating flights between Mendoza (MDZ) and Cordoba (COR) to connect with the Miami (MIA) flights in both directions using Embraer 190's and 737-800's. 

With this new service Aerolineas will have 16 weekly flights between Argentina and Miami (MIA), 14 from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and 2 from Cordoba (COR).   


Friday, August 21, 2015

Sol Lineas Aereas to Expand Codeshare with Aerolineas Argentinas and acquire Six CRJ-200's from Air Nostrum

Sol Lineas Aereas recently signed an expanded codeshare agreement with Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral to cover routes that do not have enough traffic to economically operate the 737-700's, 737-800's and ERJ-190's flown by these two carriers.  Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral will reportedly be in charge of the sales and marketing of tickets with revenue accruing to the two carriers while Sol gets paid a flat fee by them to operate the codeshares.  

The agreement is due to take effect on September 1 and will apparently see the carrier abandon its current short-range regional route network flown by Saab 340's in favor of becoming a pure codeshare operation.  Sol's current fleet of four 34-seat turboprop Saab 340's, two "A" and two "B" models, are designed for short to medium range flights of up to about 400 miles / 650 km and are not suitable to operate on the longer-distance legs flown by the longer-range and greater capacity jets flown by AR /AU so Sol will reportedly replace its Saabs with six 50-seat CRJ-200 regional jets from Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum with the first airframe due to arrive in early October, the second in November, two more in January, and the last two in March 2016.  Air Nostrum currently has a fleet of 44 aircraft; 5 ATR-72-600's, 3 CRJ-100's, 15 CRJ-200's (seven of which are in storage), 11 CRJ-900's and 10 CRJ-1000's and is looking to dispose of its CRJ-200's in favor of more CRJ-900's. 

The agreement between Sol and Air Nostrum is reportedly a lease with an option to buy and includes technical support from the Spanish carrier.  Sol flight crews are said to be already undergoing simulator training with flight dispatchers to start training soon too.   


Thursday, August 20, 2015

BQB Lineas Aereas Never Operated its A319 and had several Emergency Landings in its Last Months

BQB Lineas Aereas never operated the A319, CX-SAN (c/n 1703) that it took delivery and had possession of for six months in 2014.  The Uruguayan aviation authority, DINACIA, never authorized its use, presumably due to a lengthy certification process, but possibly due to political conflicts between the Uruguayan government and Juan Carlos Lopez Mena, owner of BQB, stemming from his role in the failed 2012 auction of PLUNA's CRJ-900's.  

The Uruguayan website, Portal de America, claims that BQB's ATR-72-500's had several emergency landings in the last few months that the airline was in service and that this prompted the DINACIA to withhold certification of the A319.  The Spanish aviation magazine, Avion Revue, also claimed in its June 2015 issue that BQB's ATR-72-500's had numerous emergency landings but this might simply have been a repetition of the Portal de America claim.


Monday, August 17, 2015

PHOTO LINK: Andes Flying MD-80 Charters from Secondary Argentine Airports to Bariloche (BRC) using new Logo Jet !

Andes Lineas Aereas of Salta, Argentina recently contracted with Argentina's #1 student travel company, Travel Rock, to fly student charters from many secondary Argentine airports to the student / ski / lakes resort of Bariloche, located in the Patagonia region near the Chilean border.

Bariloche annually draws thousands of Argentine graduating high school students, most of whom take very long bus rides, such as 20-24 hours from Buenos Aires, to arrive at the resort.  To alleviate the situation and make Bariloche tour packages more attractive, Travel Rock is offering students nonstop charter flights on Andes MD-80's from secondary Argentine cities, such as Cordoba (COR), Iguazu (IGR), La Rioja (IRJ), Mar del Plata (MDQ), Posadas (PSS), Rio Cuarto (RCU), Rosario (ROS), Salta (SLA), Santiago del Estero (SDE) and others for an average 500 peso surcharge (US$ 55 at the official exchange rate) over ordinary charter bus travel to Bariloche. The charters started in July and are due to operate through the rest of the year. 

To celebrate and publicize this new service, on August 10 Andes rolled out its MD-83 LV-WGM (c/n 49784/1627) painted with billboard Travel Rock titles on the fuselage topped by "The largest company of graduate travel in the world" in Spanish in small cursive letters plus company logos on the tail and near the nose.  These photos by Rafael Reca and published in the Argentine aviation blog Linea ALA detail the new logojet scheme: