Thursday, March 26, 2015

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas starts several new routes: Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - Calafate (FTE) /// Cordoba (COR) - Tucuman (TUC) /// Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Corrientes (CNQ)

Aerolineas Argentinas is adding new routes as it continues to take delivery of new A330-200's and 737 NG's.  

Cordoba, Argentina's second-largest city with a population of 1.3 million and
located in the center of the country is seeing service to three new destinations, the previously posted Miami (MIA) plus El Calafate (FTE) and Tucuman (TUC). 

Traditionally, passengers from the Argentine "Interior" have had to connect via Buenos Aires to get to anywhere else in the country but this has been slowly changing in recent years, first with the addition of "Corredores" which are circle routes connecting several cities to each other and more recently point-to-point routes such as those described in this posting. 

Specific new Aerolineas routes include:

* Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - Calafate (FTE)  

This service apparently started on 01Jan15 from Cordoba (COR) non-stop to Calafate (FTE) 3x/weekly with Rosario (ROS) non-stop to Calafate (FTE) starting on 02Mar15.  However, they were both apparently combined into a Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - Calafate (FTE) 6x/weekly through-flight more recently, possibly due to the end of the summer tourist season (Calafate is the location of the world-famous Perito Moreno Glacier).  

* Cordoba (COR) - Tucuman (TUC)

Service started on 10Mar15, operated by Austral Embraer 190's 3x/weekly. 

* Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Corrientes (CNQ)

Starting on 02May15, 6x/weekly flown by Aerolineas Argentinas 737-700's and Austral Embraer 190's.  



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas to restart Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA) service after 16 years effective 04Jul15

Aerolineas Argentinas is scheduled to restart flights between Cordoba (COR) and Miami (MIA) 2x/weekly on Saturdays and Sundays using A340-300's, effective 04Jul15. The airline last flew the route 4x/weekly with 747-200's in January 1999.  

With this new service Aerolineas will fly from Argentina to the USA 23x/weekly, 14x from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Miami (MIA), 7x from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to New York Kennedy (JFK) and 2x from Cordoba (COR) to Miami (MIA).

Sources: via Eric Trum

Sunday, March 22, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Third ex-PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRG (c/n 15209), departs Montevideo (MVD) to Canada

Former PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRG (c/n 15209), at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 29Jan11. (Phil Perry Photo) 

The third of seven former company-owned PLUNA CRJ-900's, CX-CRG (c/n 15209) departed Montevideo (MVD) on March 17 wearing registration C-GMXH flying to Canada for delivery to Skyservice Business Aviation. The aircraft will reportedly go on to Go Jets / Delta Connection along with the other six former company-owned PLUNA aircraft for the operation of feeder flights to Delta's hubs from secondary cities.

CX-CRG joins CX-CRC (c/n 15175) and CX-CRF (c/n 15204) both of which already departed to Canada.  

Photo of CX-CRG wearing registration G-GMXH as it prepared to leave Montevideo (MVD):


Friday, March 20, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of its first factory-new A330-200, LV-FVH, on February 28

Aerolineas Argentinas' first factory-new Airbus A330-200, LV-FVH (c/n 1605), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on its delivery flight on February 28. This is the first of four A330-200's ordered by Aerolineas directly from Airbus in February 2013. Its delivery was delayed by financing issues which are also expected to delay the delivery of the other three A330-200's on order. Other Airbus aircraft types that Aerolineas has operated include the A310 and A320 plus the A340 which the airline is in the process of retiring but still has seven of. This is the first factory-new widebody aircraft for Aerolineas since it took delivery of two 747-200's from Boeing in 1979. 

LV-FVH will be deployed from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Miami (MIA), New York Kennedy (JFK), and eventually to Madrid (MAD) when the aircraft is certified for ETOPS (Extended-Range Twin Engine Operations) the first such transatlantic twin-engine flights by the Argentine carrier. It joins four other A330-200's in the Aerolineas fleet that are on lease from International Lease Finance Corp.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Alas Uruguay's first 737-300, CX-OAA, arrives in Montevideo (MVD) - LINK TO PHOTO GALLERY

The first of at least three 737-300's that Alas Uruguay intends to take delivery of, CX-OAA (c/n 28569/2996), arrived in Montevideo (MVD) at 19:25 local time this evening from Porto Alegre (POA) where the aircraft had been undergoing a repaint in the new carrier's colors for several weeks.  

The 737-300 will now be involved in route-proving trials, flight crew qualifying and other procedures that are necessary to complete the fourth of five phases of the airline's certification by the Dirección Nacional de Aviación Civil (Uruguayan National Civil Aviation Directorate).   

Alas Uruguay hopes to put this and other 737-300's on routes from Montevideo (MVD) to various South American cities, including the lucrative Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) route.  The first route is expected to be to Asuncion (ASU) where negotiations are the most advanced. Montevideo (MVD) - Asuncion (ASU) is currently served by BQB Lineas Aereas with ATR72-500's and Amaszonas with CRJ-200's.

Link to El Pais Uruguay photo gallery:

Skyliners Daytime Photo (via Eric Trum): 


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

BQB Lineas Aereas to Close After Alas Uruguay Starts Service ?

BQB Lineas Aereas ATR72-212A, CX-JCL (c/n 805) at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 20Mar11. This was the first aircraft that BQB took delivery of but will it soon be gone ?  (Phil Perry Photo) 

There have been rumors that the Buquebus ferry lines, owners of BQB Lineas Aereas, will shut down the carrier after Alas Uruguay starts service in the coming months.

While the company is privately held, the airline has apparently suffered
financial losses as would be inferred from route, aircraft and personnel cutbacks since the second half of 2014: 

* Airbus A319, CX-SAN (c/n 1703), left the fleet in December followed by the recent departure to Europe of ATR-72-212A, CX-LFL (c/n 570) leaving BQB with the two ATR-72's that it originally took delivery of back in 2010, CX-JCL (c/n 805) and CX-JPL (c/n 816) plus one more that joined the fleet in November 2013, CX-POS (c/n 636).  

* All Brazilian routes to Curitiba (CWB), Porto Alegre (POA) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) were abandoned in September leaving the carrier only with its Montevideo (MVD) - Buenos Ares Aeroparque (AEP) and Montevideo (MVD) - Asuncion (ASU) routes. 

* 55 staff were laid off (made redundant) as a result of the above cutbacks.  

Additionally, the airline has been dealing with legal problems related to irregularities in its bid on the seven company-owned ex-PLUNA CRJ-900's during an auction in late 2012.  Finally the entry into the market of Alas Uruguay, which will presumably have Uruguayan state political support as the unofficial successor to PLUNA, does not bode well for BQB.  


Sunday, March 8, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: TAM added 1x/weekly A320 service between Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Recife (REC)

TAM added 1x/weekly A320 service from Recife (REC) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on Saturdays, returning to Recife on Sundays, effective 24Jan15. The five-hour nonstop flight is expected to stimulate tourist traffic between Argentina and the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco.   

Sources: via Eric Trum

Friday, March 6, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Avianca started 787 service between Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Bogota (BOG) on 01Feb15

Avianca of Colombia took delivery of its first three of an eventual fifteen 787-8's on order in rapid succession in a two-week period in late December 2014.  

The aircraft were planned to be deployed from the Colombian capital Bogota (BOG) to the following destinations:

16Jan15 - New York Kennedy (JFK)
01Feb15 - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE)
10Feb15 - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
13Feb15 - Santiago (SCL)
17Feb15 - Mexico City (MEX)

Madrid (MAD), Barcelona (BCN) and London Heathrow (LHR) are due to follow in June. 


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: PLUNA CRJ-900's reportedly to join Trans States / GoJet / Delta

Reader "Mark C" has advised that the seven ex-company-owned PLUNA CRJ-900's will join the fleet of GoJet Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, to fly for Delta Air Lines as a regional feeder under the Delta Connection brand.  The aircraft will be delivered between June and October this year.

GoJet has flown regional service for Delta since 2011 with a current fleet of 47 CRJ-700's, of which 22 fly for the Atlanta-based legacy carrier.  The addition of the CRJ-900's will enable Delta to further reduce its reliance on uneconomical 50-seat regional jets.      

Source:  via Mark C 

Monday, March 2, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Alas Uruguay's First Two 737-300's being Painted in Carrier's Colors in Porto Alegre (POA)

Alas Uruguay's first 737-36N, the former UR-GAN (c/n 28569/2996) flew from Ukraine, where it previously operated for Ukraine International Airlines, to Porto Alegre (POA) in late January to be painted in Alas Uruguay colors.

The aircraft, fitted with 136 seats, already carries the Uruguayan registration CX-OAA and will start service with Alas Uruguay flying charters in the coming months with scheduled service slated to start soon thereafter.  CX-OAA is expected to be delivered to Alas Uruguay's headquarters in Montevideo shortly.

Meanwhile, one source reports that the second 737-3RR, ex-UR-GAQ (c/n 28869/2887) is said to have arrived in Porto Alegre (POA) for painting.  It will be delivered as CX-OAB.

The airline is said to be paying a monthly lease of between US$ 80,000 - 130,000 on these two aircraft and the one (possibly more) to follow. 


Sunday, March 1, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Second ex-company-owned PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRC (c/n 15175) left Montevideo (MVD) on 18Feb15

The ex-company-owned PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRC, (c/n 15175) left Montevideo (MVD) on 18Feb15. This was the second ex-PLUNA CRJ-900 to depart to new owner Strategic Air Finance, which had a sale price of US$ 9.7 million, US$ 1.3 million less than the U$ 11 million received for the first aircraft CX-CRF/C-GSKK (c/n 15204) due to defects found in its engines.  

In all, nine of the fourteen engines on the seven ex-company-owned aircraft were found to have problems resulting in the lowering of the previously-negotiated selling price of the aircraft by US$ 6.3 million.  

ex-PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRC, (c/n 15175) lands at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 10Oct10. (Phil Perry Photo)