Tuesday, May 17, 2016

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Amaszonas Uruguay plans to start CRJ-200 service between Montevideo (MVD) & Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) in July

Just about exactly one year ago, the Bolivian airline Amaszonas bought the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) of BQB Lineas Aereas right after the latter shut down.  Amaszonas' intention was to replace the defunct carrier with its own Uruguayan-based service to Argentina and other points but it did not gain the proper authority in short order as it had planned.  

Being a Bolivian airline with Bolivian-registered aircraft, Amaszonas was not authorized to operate routes originating from Uruguay, even having bought BQB's Air Operator Certificate. Also, BQB was part of the holding group Las Cipreses S.A. and for the BQB AOC to be passed on to another carrier, BQB first had to be removed from Las Cipreses ownership. This being completed, the AOC could then be passed on to Amaszonas, subject to the approval of the Uruguayan Ministry of Transport. 

Amaszonas recently concluded this process forming a Uruguayan affiliate, Amaszonas Uruguay, which is on the verge of starting service between Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) having received route authority from both the Uruguayan and Argentine aviation authorities to fly the all-important "Air Bridge" as this route is known.                 

Amaszonas CRJ-200ER, CP-2969 (c/n 7209), arrived in Montevideo (MVD) on 04May16 wearing the Amaszonas Uruguay livery, which is similar to that of the parent airline, except that it is in light blue / yellow colors (same as the Uruguayan flag) instead of red / green and has "Uruguay" titles just below "Amaszonas" on the fuselage in place of where the parent airline has "Linea Aerea" on its aircraft. 

See link below:


Curiously, the aircraft has a Bolivian registration and there has been no word of plans to add the plane to the Uruguayan register although this is apparently required for Amaszonas Uruguay to have a Uruguayan AOC.  The aircraft will need to be flown by Uruguayan pilots and flight attendants too and with no CRJ-200's previously on the Uruguayan register they will presumably have to be trained.    

The new airline intends to take delivery of two more CRJ-200's from its Bolivian parent in July and August with plans for eventually six aircraft in the Amaszonas Uruguay fleet by 2018.  

Amaszonas Uruguay intends to start flying between Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) twice daily in competition with Austral and Alas Uruguay in early July.  Other possible routes include seasonal flights from Argentina to the Uruguayan summer resort of Punta del Este (PDP), some Brazilian routes, such as Montevideo (MVD) to Porto Alegre (POA) and Florianopolis (FLN), also Santiago (SCL) plus the possibility of Montevideo (MVD) - Cordoba (COR) - Santa Cruz (VVI) to tap into the large Bolivian population in Cordoba that would want to fly to Santa Cruz, a route presently not served by any other carrier.   
Interestingly, going on the Amaszonas website and selecting "Uruguay" as the country of residence, the site redirects the visitor to a BQB Lineas Aereas website with an Amaszonas route map so BQB's past AOC still plays a role in Amaszonas Uruguay's current operation. 

Editor's Comment:

The route plans of Amaszonas Uruguay sound very similar to those of Alas Uruguay but there is not enough traffic for two new Uruguayan carriers to operate successfully on these sectors; even one would find it very challenging to compete against the established foreign carriers.  

Amaszonas Uruguay's 50-seat CRJ-200's will be cheaper to fly than Alas Uruguay's 130-seat 737-300's but the per seat costs of the Canadairs are considerably more than those of the Boeings, so even with full planes Amaszonas might find it difficult to make money.  They have higher seat-mile costs mainly due to the high per seat fuel consumption of the smaller plane that in times of expensive fuel make the CRJ-200's uneconomical to operate as US and European regional operators of large numbers of the type discovered during the last decade.                



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