Sunday, December 31, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas second 737 MAX 8, LV-GVE, arrived in Argentina at 4:57pm today

UPDATED 10Feb18:  Aerolineas Argentinas' 737 MAX 8, LV-GVE (c/n 64208/6717), takes off from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 08Feb18. (Phil Perry Photo)

Aerolineas Argentinas' second 737 MAX 8, LV-GVE (c/n 64208/6717), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) at 4:57pm local time on 31Dec17 on its delivery flight from Seattle's Boeing Field (BFI) via Punta Cana (PUJ), according to   

This aircraft is the second of 11 737 MAX 8's that Aerolineas has on order with at least the following three scheduled for delivery during 2018:

LV-HKU (c/n 44293/6753) 
LV-HKV (c/n 44294/6807)
LV-HKW (c/n 44296/XXXX) 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas introduced the 737 MAX 8 into service on 01Dec17; future route plans

Aerolineas Argentinas 737 MAX 8, LV-GVD (c/n 64207/6661), taxis in at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 15Dec17. (Phil Perry Photo)

Aerolineas Argentinas' first 737 MAX 8, LV-GVD (c/n 64207/6661), entered regular airline service on 01Dec17 when it operated a Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Mendoza (MDZ) round-trip service, eight days after arriving at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on its delivery flight on 23Nov17.  Aerolineas became the first Latin American airline to put the 737 MAX 8 into service. 

LV-GVD was officially presented to the press at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 04Dec17 and reportedly operated numerous route-proving flights to several  Argentine domestic airports in late November, including Bariloche (BRC), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Cordoba (COR), Iguazu (IGR), Mendoza (MDZ), Neuquen (NQN), Resistencia (RES), Rio Gallegos (RGL) and Salta (SLA).  

Aerolineas converted 11 of 20 737-800's ordered several years ago to 737 MAX 8's which will be delivered in the next 2-3 years.  The next four MAX 8's to be delivered, all expected in 2018 are:

LV-GVE (c/n 64208/6717) 
LV-HKU (c/n 44293/6753) 
LV-HKV (c/n 44294/6807)
LV-HKW (c/n 44296/XXXX) 

All of the aircraft are being leased from Aviation Capital Group.

According to Routes Online (via Eric Trum) initial routes for the 737 MAX 8 in December 2017 / January 2018 include:

eff 10Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Cordoba (COR)
eff 11Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Mendoza (MDZ)
eff 11Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Tucuman (TUC)
eff 17Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Neuquen (NQN)
eff 18Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Iguazu (IGR)
eff 30Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Salta (SLA)
eff 03Jan18: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Mar del Plata (MDQ)

Additional MAX 8 destinations are planned for mid-2018 including:

eff 02Jun18: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Rio Gallegos (RGL)
eff 03Jun18: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Posadas (PSS)
eff 03Jun18: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - San Juan (UAQ)

These dates / destinations are subject to change plus has shown LV-GVD operating flights to Resistencia (RES) that is not on the above lists.

With its increased range over the the 737-800, the 737 MAX 8 is also expected to be deployed on routes from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and/or Cordoba (COR) non-stop to the Caribbean / Mexico with the most likely candidate destinations being Cancun (CUN) and Punta Cana (PUJ), currently served by Aerolineas A330's, which are apparently too large for demand on these routes.  Aerolineas' existing 737-800 fleet does not have the range to operate these services non-stop.        
Sources:|FGFG|FGABN-2017-1120-GLOB|news&sfid=70120000000taAf via Eric Trum

Friday, December 29, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS & FLEET UPDATE: Flybondi received its first 737-800 on 02Dec17

First 737-800

Flybondi's first 737-800, LV-HKS (c/n 33821/1698), arrived at Cordoba (COR) on 02Dec17 after a week-long journey from Singapore via Hanoi, Osaka, Petropavlovsk, Anchorage, Los Angeles and San Jose, Costa Rica. 

Since then, the aircraft has undergone numerous demonstration flights and promotional visits to several airports around Argentina, including Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 05Dec17 followed by Cordoba (COR), Bariloche (BRC), Neuquen(NQN), Jujuy (JUJ), Salta (SLA), Corrientes (CNQ), Iguazu (IGR) and Posadas (PSS) in recent weeks.

Air Operator Certificate 

Flybondi was expected to receive its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) in mid-December with the sale of tickets to follow soon thereafter on its planned initial routes; Cordoba (COR) to Bariloche (BRC), Iguazu (IGR) and Mendoza (MDZ), all expected to start in January.  

The Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) also plans to commence flights from the alternative Buenos Aires airport of El Palomar (EPA), just west of the city, in late January with flights between EPA and Cordoba (COR) tapping into the most heavily-traveled city pair in Argentina, Buenos Aires - Cordoba.    

El Palomar (EPA) - Low-Cost Carrier Airport

El Palomar (EPA) is an Argentine Air Force base which has only been used for airline flights once before in November 2010 when Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) closed for a few weeks due to runway work causing a few small airlines, such as Andes, BQB Lineas Aereas, PLUNA and Sol Lineas Aereas to move to EPA temporarily.  The facility is currently undergoing extensive work with the addition of ramp space and the construction of a new temporary terminal building.  Several air force hangars are undergoing modifications for use by civilian air carriers. 

Flybondi plans to have 10 737-800's in service by the end of 2018.