Tuesday, April 10, 2018

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Polar Lineas Aereas, proposed new Argentine start-up carrier, granted route authorities

Polar Lineas Aereas S.A., which proposed to fly 44 domestic routes and 31 international routes at the 06Sep17 Argentine route hearings, yesterday was granted the right to fly many of its requested routes by the Argentine Ministry of Transport.  

The airline's request consisted of both passenger and cargo routes focusing heavily on the San Luis province airports of San Luis (LUQ), Villa Mercedes (VME) and Merlo (RLO) including also many routes from Buenos Aires, Cordoba (COR) and La Plata (LPG).  Proposed international routes were mostly within South America but extended as far as Europe and Asia.  Approved international rights are reportedly mostly within South America.  

The route awards are for domestic and international non-scheduled flights, are valid for 15 years and subject to the airline being approved for an Air Operator Certificate and starting service within 180 days after having obtained the latter.

Possible aircraft types include the Airbus A319, A340, Boeing 737 and even the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, although there are few of the latter in operation anywhere in the world and none operating passenger flights.

Polar's reported business plan is to operate a network of cargo routes within Argentina that in turn would feed an international network of cargo flights from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Miami (MIA) where the freight would connect to US domestic flights.

Polar was awarded the rights because, according to Argentine Minister of Transport Guillermo Dietrich, the carrier proposes a "novel" network of routes not currently covered by other airlines.  The Transport Ministry expects that the carrier might invest up to US$ 650 million and employ 1,200 workers in its operation.   

Polar is owned by Daniel Barbosa, who previously operated CATA, an Argentine domestic airline that flew passenger and cargo flights using Fairchild FH-227's between 1986-2006.  Various Argentine media outlets have associated Polar Lineas Aereas with Polar Air Cargo of the United States but the editor of this blog could not find any news reports emanating from outside Argentina that suggested such a connection. 

Full details on Polar's presentation at the 06Sep17 route hearings:


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