Thursday, May 28, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Four of Aerolineas Argentinas' scheduled European Flights to make stop in London-Heathrow (LHR) in September

Four of Aerolineas Argentinas' scheduled flights to Barcelona (BCN) & Rome - Fiumucino (FCO) will make a stop in London-Heathrow (LHR) in September taking fans to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which Argentina will be participating in.  

Aerolineas' normal Buenos Aires - Barcelona round-trip flights will operate on a "triangle" basis with a stop in London on 18/19Sep15: 

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - London-Heathrow (LHR) - Barcelona (BCN) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE).

A similar routing will be followed on 25/26Sep15 but stopping in London after Barcelona: 

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Barcelona (BCN) - London-Heathrow (LHR) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE).

A similar concept will be implemented in October towards the end of the competition adding London to the normal Rome route instead:

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - London-Heathrow (LHR) - Rome-Fiumicino (FCO) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 09/11Oct15.

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Rome-Fiumicino (FCO) - London-Heathrow (LHR) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 17/18Oct15.

All of the flights will be operated by Aerolineas Argentinas' A340-300's. 

Source: via Eric Trum

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: LAN to operate two round-trip charters from Montevideo (MVD) to La Serena (LSC) Chile

LAN is scheduled to operate two A320 charters between Montevideo (MVD) and La Serena (LSC) Chile in June 2015.  The passengers are apparently Uruguayan as the first flights are originating in Montevideo (MVD) on June 14 and 15 with the returns staggered a few days later on June 17 and 21. The reason for the charters appears to be some sort of an event, such as a rugby championship.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: Beech King Airs at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP)

Below are a half-dozen photos of Beech King Airs taken by blog editor Phil Perry at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) in recent years. 

Beech B200GT Super King Air, LV-CHW (c/n BY-58), belonging to Ledesma SAAI   (paper, alcohol & sugar products) at AEP on 16Jan11.

Beech F90 King Air, LV-ZPY (c/n LA-89), belonging to 
Bravo Foxtrot Srl at AEP on 06Feb11.

Beech 200 Super King Air, LV-OFT (c/n BB-699), belonging to 
Don Roberto S.A.A.C.I at AEP on 11Feb12.

Provincia del Chubut Beech C90B King Air, 
LV-WPB (c/n LJ-1416), at AEP in October 2012.

Provincia de Santiago del Estero Beech C90A King Air, 
LQ-ZRB (c/n LJ-1552), at AEP on 20Jun14.

Beech 300LW Super King Air, LV-WLT (c/n FA-221), 
belonging to Tango Jet S.A. at AEP on 15Aug14.

This aircraft crashed when it suddenly nose-dived into two homes in the Nordelta luxury housing complex north of Buenos Aires while on approach to Aeroparque (AEP) on 14Sep14, killing both the pilot, Andy Deutsch, the former owner of LAPA Airlines, and his wife.  Nobody on the ground was hurt but both homes were destroyed by the ensuing fire.  

There was speculation in the Buenos Aires press that Mr. Deutsch, who was 78 years old at the time of the accident, might have suffered some sort of sudden physical impairment resulting in loss of control of the aircraft.  The editor of this blog is unaware that this was ever verified.     

Accident Description:

Information Sources: 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: United to introduce the 787 between Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), effective 25Oct15

United will introduce the 787 on its daily flight between Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), effective 25Oct15, becoming the fifth airline to fly the aircraft type to EZE, joining LAN, Avianca, AeroMexico and American Airlines.   

United will also introduce the 787 on two other South American routes, Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) in August 2015 and Santiago (SCL) in January 2016, both also from Houston.  United currently has a fleet of 17 787 "Dreamliners" consisting of 12 787-8 and 7 787-9 (the longer model). 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Sol Lineas Aereas Seasonal Routes this Past Summer

Sol Lineas Aereas Saab 340A, LV-CEI (c/n 12), taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque on 15Aug14.  Note the titles. (Phil Perry Photo)

Sol Lineas Aereas Seasonal Summer Routes from the Summer just concluded

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Villa Gesell (VLG)

6x/weekly, Sunday - Friday effective 02Jan15

Rosario (ROS) - Punta del Este (PDP) (Uruguay)

6x/weekly, Sunday - Friday, effective 02Jan15  

Sol has a fleet of four Saab 340's, two 340A's and two 340B's covering 11 destinations in Argentina and one in Uruguay.    


Sunday, May 17, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of two new A330-200's in February & April

Aerolineas Argentinas recently took delivery of the first two of an eventual four brand-new A330-202's to be delivered from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France.   

A330-202 LV-FVH, (c/n 1605) was delivered on 28Feb15 and LV-FVI (c/n 1623) was handed over to Aerolineas on 30Apr15. Both have 243 economy and 24 first-class seats and are powered by two General Electric CF6-80E1A4 engines rated at 70,000 lbs. thrust. These aircraft will be first used on routes that do not take the aircraft too far from airports that could be used for emergency landings, such as Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Miami (MIA) and New York Kennedy (JFK), but transatlantic flights to Europe requiring ETOPS (Extended- range Twin Operations) certification will have to wait until the airline is qualified to operate such services, which is expected to happen in July when the airline is scheduled to introduce the A330-202's on the Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Madrid (MAD) route.             

The factory-new A330-202's join four A330-223's already in Aerolineas' fleet that are owned by the ILFC leasing company, two of which were originally delivered to SABENA in 1999 with the other two having been delivered to Air Afrique in 2000.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Fourth ex-PLUNA CRJ-900, CX-CRB (c/n 15169) departs Montevideo (MVD) to Toronto (YYZ)

PLUNA CRJ-900 CX-CRB (c/n 15169) taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 22Jan11. (Phil Perry Photo)

Portal de America reports that the fourth of seven ex-company owned PLUNA CRJ-900's departed Montevideo (MVD) to the United States (actually went to Toronto) on 13May15, nearly three years after the airline's 05Jul12 shutdown. The aircraft, which flew for PLUNA as CX-CRB (c/n 15169), was re-registered for the flight as C-GMXJ with a white patch covering the old registration.     

Portal also reports that most of the former PLUNA CRJ-900 fleets' engines have apparently been poorly maintained during the last three years and have deteriorated to the point that only one set of engines has been used to fly the CRJ-900's to North America with the powerplants being taken off after each ferry flight and shipped in containers back to Uruguay for the next ferry flight.   

CX-CRB was the second CRJ-900 delivered to PLUNA on 27Mar08.  The airline went on to operate a total of 13 CRJ-900's with seven being company-owned and the other six leased, which were the first to leave the fleet after PLUNA shut down.

Of the seven company-owned aircraft, the airframes that have already left Uruguay are, in order of their departure, CX-CRF (c/n 15204) on 12Jan15, CX-CRC (c/n 15175) on 18Feb15, CX-CRG (c/n 15209) on 17Mar15 and CX-CRB (c/n 15169) on 13May15.  The three aircraft still in Montevideo (MVD) are CX-CRA (c/n 15165), CX-CRD (c/n 15180) and CX-CRE (c/n 15185). 

The seven ex-company-owned PLUNA CRJ-900's will reportedly 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 are scheduled for delivery between June and September this year.   

GoJet has flown regional services for Delta since 2011 with a current fleet of 45 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.        


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas takes delivery of its 15th and 16th 737-800's in March and April

Aerolineas Argentinas took delivery of its 15th and 16th 737-800's in March and April with 737-8SH, LV-FVM (c/n 41329/5313) flying from Boeing Field near Seattle to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) via Caracas (CCS) on 12Mar15 and 737-8SH, LV-FVN (c/n 41331/5373) following on 22Apr15.  Both aircraft are leased from Air Lease Corp. at a reported US$ 400,000 per month.  

According to the Linea ALA blog, the newest 737-800's, along with 20 more 737-800's ordered directly from Boeing to be delivered in the coming years, will slowly replace Aerolineas' fleet of 20 leased 737-700's (two other -700's are company-owned).  

Since the Argentine government retook control of Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral in 2008 it has added 73 new aircraft to the fleet consisting of 7 A340's, 6 A330's, 22 737-700's, 16 737-800's and 22 Embraer 190's.  Nearly all of the Airbus and Boeings are leased (two 737-700's and one A330 are owned) but all 22 Embraer 190's are owned.  Argentina has significantly more air service now than seven years ago but it is also true that Aerolineas Argentinas has accumulated several billions of dollars in losses in that time.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Amaszonas CRJ-200 arrived in Montevideo (MVD) for Certification Process just after Midnight, Flew First Charter this Morning

As announced on Saturday, Amaszonas flew one of its CRJ-200's to Montevideo (MVD) on Sunday night arriving just after midnight early Monday morning. The aircraft will participate in the certification process of what is being called "Amaszonas Uruguay".

Surprisingly, "Amaszonas Uruguay" operated its first service this morning, Monday, May 11, a charter to Asuncion (ASU).  The flight, with 31 passengers on board, was operated by CRJ-200 CP-2856 (c/n 7226) and was the first of several charters that the Uruguayan DINACIA aviation agency authorized Amaszonas Uruguay to operate to Asuncion (ASU) this week.   

Per the Uruguayan travel website, Portal de America, the Argentine ANAC aviation agency has indicated that Amaszonas has not submitted an application for the authorization of CRJ-200 flights so the only aircraft that the Bolivian carrier can currently fly to Argentina under the former BQB Air Operator's Certificate is the ex-BQB ATR-72-212's.     


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Amaszonas due to fly a CRJ-200 to Montevideo (MVD) today for authorization process of BQB takeover

It was previously reported that Amaszonas Linea Aerea had purchased only BQB Lineas Aereas Air Operator's Certificate but El Pais of Uruguay claimed in its May 8 edition that Amaszonas has bought all shares of the Uruguayan carrier too. 

The newspaper also reported that Amaszonas was due to fly one its eleven CRJ-200's from Bolivia to Montevideo (MVD) today, Sunday, May 10 to start the process of authorizing the airline's aircraft operations with the DINACIA Uruguayan aviation authority that will permit "Amaszonas Uruguay" to start flying with BQB's certificate from Montevideo (MVD) to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Asuncion (ASU). The last bit of news comes as a surprise since the Amaszonas Bolivia-based operation already flies between Asuncion (ASU) and Montevideo as an extension of it Santa Cruz (VVI) to Asuncion (ASU) route.  The CRJ-200 will apparently be based in Montevideo (MVD) to start the new operation.      

Amaszonas has reportedly hired 31 of BQB's former employees and claims that it already has route authorization from the DINACIA to fly to Buenos Aires and Asuncion but that the regulatory procedures and paperwork have taken longer than anticipated which has resulted in unexpected delays to the start of service.

The procedures with the DINACIA and the Argentine and Paraguayan authorities are expected to be completed soon with the start of service to Asuncion (ASU) later this week to be followed by Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) soon thereafter.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Amaszonas / BQB Lineas Aereas' Montevideo (MVD) - Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) Start Date Uncertain

Portal de America reports that the start date of Amaszonas' new service between Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) using BQB Lineas Aereas' Uruguayan Air Operator's Certificate is uncertain as the Bolivian carrier has not received authorization to fly the route from either the Uruguayan DINACIA or Argentine ANAC aviation authorities. 

Permission from Uruguay might be hindered by political considerations, such as possible favoritism by the Uruguayan government of the imminent start-up of Alas Uruguay, a privately-owned carrier that is seen as the de facto replacement for the now-defunct PLUNA that also aspires to fly the former flag carrier's flagship route between MVD and AEP.  Alas Uruguay is mainly composed of ex-PLUNA employees.

Presently, the only airline flying the highly-profitable route between the Argentine and Uruguayan capital cities is Aerolineas Argentinas' Austral subsidiary with 6-7 roundtrips per day operated with EMB-190's.  With Amaszonas / BQB to be a Uruguayan operation, presumably the Uruguayan DINACIA would have to grant Alas Uruguay the route authority before the Argentine ANAC could act.         


Thursday, May 7, 2015

FLEET UPDATE: Alas Uruguay about to receive 2nd 737-300, CX-OAB, entering Fourth Phase of Certification Process

Alas Uruguay's second 737-300, CX-OAB (c/n 28869) will soon fly to the airline's Montevideo (MVD) base after it has been painted in the carrier's colors in Porto Alegre (POA).  

When the aircraft arrives, it will join the first 737-300 delivered to Alas Uruguay, CX-OAA, as the new airline enters the "Demonstration" phase of its certification process by the DINACIA Uruguayan aviation authorities, which will consist of verifying flight crew training, maintenance capabilities and other necessary infrastructure to operate a safe, and regulation-compliant service.

The carrier is expected to start operations flying charters followed by scheduled service in the coming months. 


Monday, May 4, 2015

ROUTE UPDATE: Amaszonas did not start former BQB Flights today May 4, might start May 8

Portal de America reports that everything seemed in order on April 29 when Amaszonas announced that it would start service from Montevideo (MVD) to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on May 4 operating the same twice-daily flights that BQB Lineas Aereas used to fly. However, on April 30 there was no sign of the flights actually materializing.

Also raising a lot of doubts was a set of questions that Portal de America submitted to Amaszonas management on April 18 about the legal and operational structure of the new Amaszonas/BQB entity, which Amaszonas failed to answer.  The most significant questions were as follows:

1) What brand will the new operation fly under ?  Amaszonas Uruguay ?

2) Will the new airline start operations with BQB ATR-72's for a simpler and 
    faster transition ? 

3) Has the new operation received permission from the Argentine authorities to 
    fly Amaszonas CRJ-200's, which are registered in Bolivia, between 
    Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) under the route 
    authority granted to BQB, a Uruguayan airline ?

4) BQB's Air Operator Certificate is owned by Los Cipreses, a Uruguayan  
    company that owns the Buquebus ferry lines.  Can a Bolivian company take 
    over the certificate without going through a major regulatory process ?         

The issue raised by the above questions, especially 3) and 4), are enough to sideline the new Amaszonas/BQB operation for weeks and possibly months while all of the regulatory formalities are worked out.

In the meantime, Portal de America reports that a couple of the GDS are showing BOTH Amaszonas and BQB flights as operating between Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) this coming Friday, May 8 on the two daily slots formerly operated by BQB.