Thursday, May 24, 2018

PHOTO GALLERY + HISTORICAL INTEREST: Six Jetstream 32's operated by Macair

Macair, the airline purchased by Avianca Argentina in 2016 to rapidly access the Argentine passenger airline market, operated six Jetstream 32 aircraft in its history.  As a side note, Avianca Argentina did not start flying regularly scheduled commercial service until November 2017, which would bring into question the reasons behind its purchase of Macair instead of starting its own operation.

Four Macair Jetstream 32's flew charters from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Iguazu (IGR) on the morning of 06Feb11; LV-ZOW, LV-ZPW, LV-ZPZ and LV-ZRL as pictured below:     

Macair Jetsream 32 LV-ZOW (c/n 869). (Phil Perry Photo) 

LV-ZPW (c/n 861).  As far as the editor of this blog knows, this was the only Macair Jetstream 32 to carry Macair Jet titles.  (Phil Perry Photo) 

LV-ZPZ (c/n 931) wore Aerochaco titles reflecting Macair's wet-lease subservices on behalf of the carrier that represented the Argentina province of Chaco, mostly to its capital Resistencia.  These titles were eventually removed, however.  (Phil Perry Photo)

LV-ZRL (c/n 928) at Aeroparque with the early morning sun illuminating its fuselage from the rear.  (Phil Perry Photo)

The two other Jetstream 32's to fly for Macair were LV-ZSB and LV-ZST:

LV-ZSB (c/n 942) at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) flying for Aerovip under the Arg Express brand in December 2001.  The aircraft joined the Macair fleet in June 2007.  (Phil Perry Collection)

LV-ZST (c/n 941) taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 11Jul17. This aircraft was in service with AeroVip / ARG Express on 20Jan03 when it struck ground equipment at Aeroparque, damaging its left propeller, fuselage and engine fairing.  The plane was apparently repaired and re-entered service with Aerovip in 2002.  (Phil Perry Photo) 

LV-ZOW and LV-ZPW first flew in 1989 with LV-ZPZ, LV-ZRL, LV-ZSB and LV-ZST all having their first flight in 1991.  All six aircraft flew for American Eagle with some of them operating for other carriers in North America before going on to Argentina in 1999/2000 to fly for Aerovip under several brands, including Aerolineas Argentinas Express, LAPA Vip and ARG Express, finally joining Macair in 2006/2007/2008.  

The aircraft were successively retired from Macair service, especially after  Avianca Argentina bought Macair's Air Operator Certificate in early 2016. 

For a history and profile of Macair's operations, including subservices for Aerochaco and Lineas Aereas Entre Rios, please visit these previous postings in this blog:

Argentina Airline News - ROUTE UPDATES: Macair Jetstream 32P Regional Operations

Argentina Airline News - ROUTE UPDATE: Macair flew Jetstreams in Paraguay as Ad Maiora Lineas Aereas in early 2013

Argentina Airline News - ROUTE UPDATES: Macair to fly Resistencia (RES) to Asuncion (ASU) & Internal Paraguayan Routes

Argentina Airline News - Macair Operations for LAER (Lineas Aereas Entre Rios)


Sunday, May 20, 2018

ROUTE UPDATES: 50% of Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) international flights move to Ezeiza (EZE) (except Uruguayan flights)

As announced in July 2017, all international flights operating from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) (with the exception of flights to Uruguay) will be transferred to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) in two phases, effective in 2018 and 2019.  

See posting from 18Jul17: 

ROUTE UPDATES: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) international flights to move to Ezeiza (EZE) (except Uruguayan flights)

The first phase commenced on 03May18 with the total number of international flights to Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay operating from Aeroparque being reduced from 222 to 112 operations weekly.  Reductions by airline in terms of weekly flights: 

Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral - 120 to 60 

LATAM Argentina / Brasil / Chile - 70 to 35 

Gol Linhas Aereas - 21 to 11 

Amaszonas Paraguay - 11 to 6 

Aerolineas Argentinas transferred its flights bound for Porto Alegre (POA), Río de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), Salvador de Bahía (SSA) and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI) from Aeroparque to Ezeiza.

Aerolineas will continue to operate from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Asuncion (ASU), Curitiba (CWB), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), and Santiago (SCL) until 2019. 

The remaining 50% of international flights by all carriers are due to be moved on 01Apr19.

The purpose of the big move is to free up ramp space and to a certain extent air operations capacity at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) for the increasing number of Argentine domestic flights being added by carriers under the present government's policy of doubling the number of Argentine air travelers in the foreseeable future.        

Sources:  including ANAC press release

Saturday, May 19, 2018

ROUTE UPDATE: Air Europa increasing Cordoba (COR) - Asuncion (ASU) - Madrid (MAD) flights to 5 and then 7 weekly

Cordoba (COR) - Asuncion (ASU) - Madrid (MAD) - eff 04Jul18 -increase to 5x/weekly - eff June 2019 to 1x/daily

Air Europa started flying from Madrid (MAD) to Asuncion (ASU) on 16Dec15 on a 2x/weekly basis using A330-200's, adding on Cordoba (COR) and increasing frequency to 4x/weekly in December 2016 with a planned further increase to 5x/weekly on 04Jul18 and daily flights in June 2019. 

Presumably, the idea of including both Asuncion (ASU) and Cordoba (COR) on the route was originally intended to assure profitable load factors on the transatlantic operation but 25% of the passengers traveling on this flight fly between Asuncion (ASU) and Cordoba (COR), which would probably be about 50+ passengers, a seemingly high number for a secondary route and probably a pleasant surprise to the airline. 


Thursday, May 17, 2018

ROUTE UPDATES: Amaszonas, Amaszonas Paraguay, Amaszonas Uruguay

Montevideo (MVD) - Cordoba (COR) - eff 27Sep17 - 3x/weekly

This route started approx. one month later than originally planned.  Amaszonas Uruguay was scheduled to take on a third CRJ-200 for route expansion but managed to start this new service with its existing fleet of two CRJ-200's; CX-SDU (c/n 7209) and CX-LVA (c/n 7561), not having taken delivery of a third aircraft to this day.

Asuncion (ASU) - Corrientes (CNQ) - eff 30Nov17 - 3x/weekly

Operated with Paraguayan-registered CRJ-200's from the fleet of parent airline Amaszonas Linea Aerea of Bolivia.  However, this service is scheduled to be discontinued soon and might already have ceased. 

Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI) - Cordoba (COR)  - eff 13Dec17 - 3x/weekly

Operated with CRJ-200's from the fleet of 11 of the type belonging to the parent Amaszonas Linea Aerea of Bolivia.   

Asuncion (ASU) - Punta del Este (PDP) - eff 26Dec17 - 3x/weekly

Service that was scheduled on a seasonal summer basis that is presumed to have taken place (unconfirmed by blog editor).   Operated with Paraguayan-registered CRJ-200's from the fleet of parent airline Amaszonas Linea Aerea of Bolivia. 

Asuncion (ASU) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) eff 02May18 - 6x/weekly

Operated with Paraguayan-registered CRJ-200's from the fleet of parent airline Amaszonas Linea Aerea of Bolivia. 

Sources: via Eric Trum via Eric Trum

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ROUTE UPDATES: Estelar to Caracas (CCS) + Gol to Porto Alegre (POA)

Caracas (CCS) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - eff 14Dec17 - 3x/Weekly

This airline started service between Caracas (CCS) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) using a single A340-300 wet-leased from Hi-Fly Malta. The route was previously flown by Conviasa, the state-owned flag carrier of Venezuela.

Estelar is a privately-owned Venezuelan airline that was founded in 2009 and currently flies one leased A340-300 plus three 737-300's and two 737-200's (not necessarily all active) from Caracas (CCS) to several domestic points plus Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Lima (LIM), Panama City (PTY), Santiago (SCL) and Madrid (MAD) internationally.  

Montevideo (MVD) - Porto Alegre (POA) - eff 16Dec17 - 1x/Weekly

Operated by 737-800's.  Resumption of a route previously operated by Gol.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

ROUTE UPDATES: Avianca & Avianca Argentina

* Cordoba (COR) - Lima (LIM) - eff 17Nov17 - APPROVAL REJECTED

Avianca had planned to start this service using E190's but approval of the flight was rejected, which came as a surprise given the current Argentine national government's apparent policy of approving almost all new proposed airline service.  LATAM Peru already flies this route so maybe the government considered that flights by both Avianca and LATAM Peru to their respective hubs in Lima (LIM) would be too much capacity on one route for a medium-sized city like Cordoba.  

Mendoza (MDZ) - Lima (LIM) - eff 01Apr18 - 1x/Daily

Flights operated with A320's.  This is Avianca's third route from Argentina with the other two being Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Bogota (BOG), operated 1x/daily with 787's, and Ezeiza to Lima (LIM), flown 2x/daily using A321's and A330's.  

* Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - APPROVAL REJECTED

Avianca Argentina included this route linking Argentina's second and third-largest cities in its requests made at the route hearings in September 2017 but it was rejected.  Apparent reason given was insufficient traffic on past scheduled flights on the route, which made the request subject to a law prohibiting services on lightly-traveled routes.    

It should be noted that Avianca and Avianca Argentina are two separate entities owned by the same parent company, Synergy Group. 


Monday, May 14, 2018

ROUTE UPDATE: Flybondi to request international routes from El Palomar (EPA) and other Argentine points

Flybondi reportedly intends to request international routes for start up later this year subject to the acquisition of additional aircraft and the approval of foreign governments.  However, the first step would be for the Argentine government to hold route hearings, which, if they happen, would reportedly likely take place as soon as June of this year. 

Flybondi apparently would apply for 200 new routes to add to the 85 route approvals that it already has from previous route hearings, 12 of which the company is already operating with 4-5 more due to be added in June/July and more in the coming months / years.  Airlines normally request many more routes than they intend to operate, mainly to maximize the number of options available to themselves when making expansion plans.    

The international routes that Flybondi would like to request include El Palomar (EPA) to Asuncion (ASU), Punta del Este (PDP) and Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG)  plus Cordoba (COR), El Palomar (EPA), Iguazu (IGR), Mendoza (MDZ) and Salta (SLA) to Santiago (SCL).


Sunday, May 13, 2018

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral likely to order best financial deal between 737 MAX 8 and A320neo

Austral E190, LV-CPJ (c/n 463), taxis in at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 29Mar18.  Austral's E190's are expected to start leaving the fleet later this year. (Phil Perry Photo) 

Aviacion News reports that the announced four-way competition between aircraft manufacturers Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer for Aerolineas Argentinas' order of replacement aircraft for its Austral division's 26-strong E190 fleet is really a two-way affair between Airbus' A320neo family of aircraft and Boeing's 737 MAX series, given that the airline group has repeatedly stated in recent times that the type chosen will have approx. 186 seats.

Both aircraft are comparable technically and from a performance standpoint, with Boeing's 737 MAX series considered to have the advantage given Aerolineas Argentinas' existing fleet of 31 737-800's and four 737 MAX 8's and the commonality that additional MAX series aircraft would bring.  According to Aviacion News the eventual winner of the contract (expected to be decided in June) might be the manufacturer that offers the best financing package, either through purchase of the aircraft, leasing through an aircraft lessor or a combination of both.  In any case, the winning manufacturer is expected to take Austral's existing fleet of 24-owned and two-leased E190's as part of the deal.  The first of the winning order of aircraft is expected to be delivered to Austral by the end of this year.  


Saturday, May 12, 2018

FLEET UPDATE: Flybondi's fourth 737-800, LV-HQY, arrived at Cordoba (COR) at 7:05pm

Flybondi's fourth 737-800, LV-HQY (c/n 34406/1852), arrived at Cordoba (COR) on its delivery flight at 7:05pm this evening.  

The aircraft was originally delivered to Turkish Airlines in 2006 where it flew until it was stored in November 2017.  It was turned over to Flybondi on 12Apr18 and flown to Montpellier France (MPL) where its interior was modified into Flybondi's 189-seat configuration.  Yesterday, 11May18, LV-HQY departed Montpellier (MPL) on its delivery flight to Cordoba (COR) via Sal Island Cape Verde (SID) and Salvador de Bahia (SSA).  

LV-HQY will add additional capacity to Flybondi's fleet allowing the carrier to introduce new service to Posadas (PSS) on 15May18 and Bahia Blanca (BHI) on 30May18.


Friday, May 11, 2018

FLEET UPDATE: LATAM Argentina to transfer two A320's to Chile, reportedly on a temporary basis

LATAM Argentina A320-233, LV-GLP (c/n 1355), taxis in at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 29Mar18.  Two such aircraft will leave the LATAM Argentina fleet, at least temporarily, to add capacity to LATAM Chile's fleet. (Phil Perry Photo)

LATAM Argentina will transfer two A320's to LATAM Chile at the end of May, reportedly to help make up for a capacity shortfall resulting from many of the parent carrier's 787-8's and 787-9's being grounded to undergo work on their Rolls-Royce engines.

Some sources have claimed that the A320's will directly replace some of the 787's on shorter routes while one Argentine aviation blog has suggested that the replacement is part of a reshuffling of aircraft within the LATAM Chile fleet with some aircraft replacing other similar types, such as 787-8's and 787-9's being replaced with 767-300's, which in turn are being replaced by A321's, which are seeing A320's take their place.  

LATAM Chile is making up for most of the capacity shortfall by wet-leasing four A330-200's and one 747-400 from Spanish charter operator Wamos Air.  There are also rumors that the carrier is leasing in two ex-Singapore 777-200's.  

LATAM Argentina will be closing two of its Argentine stations, Bahia Blanca (BHI) and San Juan (UAQ), on 01Jun18, thereby eliminating all flights to these two points and reducing the need for aircraft.  The airline said in a press release that the A320 transfer will not result in layoffs (redundancy) of personnel due to an intensified use of the remaining fleet to make up for the departure of the two aircraft.

LATAM Argentina's fleet after the transfer of the two A320's will be 13 A320's and three 767-300's. 


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Flybondi - Review of First Three Months + Short-Term Future Outlook

Flybondi, Argentina's new Low-Cost Carrier (LCC), recently completed its first three months of service with a significant number of problems in its first month of flying that have been slowly diminishing with the carrier improving its service record as it gets past its start-up period.

A recent company press release provided some details about the carrier's performance in the 90+ days since its first scheduled flight on 26Jan18:

Flight & Passenger Statistics

Flybondi recently completed 1,000 flights and also passed the 100,000 passenger mark with 20,000 of those travelers having flown for the first time.

The airline claims to have achieved an 80% on-time flight performance with a 66% load factor, low by today's standards, especially for an LCC that needs to fill as many seats as possible in order to make a profit charging the low fares that it generally offers.  However, Flybondi is a new operation that is still gaining recognition in the travel marketplace plus press coverage in its first few months predictably focused on the carrier's problems without reporting its achievements and advances, which probably depressed passenger numbers.  The airline is targeting an 85% load factor in the next few months.

Route Development

Flybondi's two most recently added routes are Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Corrientes (CNQ) and Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Jujuy (JUJ), both of which started on 28Mar18, a few weeks after originally scheduled, giving the airline 12 routes in all.  During its first three months, the carrier's  most traveled routes were the following, presumably in the order given, although the press release was not clear on that: 

* El Palomar (EPA) - Cordoba (COR)
* Cordoba (COR) - Mendoza (MDZ)
* El Palomar (EPA) - Bariloche (BRC)
* El Palomar (EPA) - Mendoza (MDZ)
* Cordoba (COR) - Iguazu (IGR)
Flybondi intends to add four new routes over the next two months, all from El Palomar (EPA) to destinations that will be new to the airline's network:

El Palomar (EPA) - Posadas (PSS), eff 15May18 
El Palomar (EPA) - Bahia Blanca (BHI), eff 30May18 
El Palomar (EPA) - Salta (SLA), eff 15Jun18  
El Palomar (EPA) - Santiago del Estero (SDE), eff 02Jul18 

Fleet Expansion

Flybondi's current fleet consists of three 737-800's with two more of the type  due in May and June that will be used in the planned route expansion.  Five more aircraft are expected during the remainder of the year for a total of 10 737-800's by the end of 2018.


Flybondi currently has 340 employees with 700 staff expected by the end of 2018.

Flybondi press release via the above link

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

ROUTE UPDATES: Flybondi - Current Route Network + 4 New Destinations to be added May to July

Flybondi Route Network (current)

The route network of Flybondi, the new Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) that started service in Argentina on 26Jan18, consists of 12 routes as illustrated in the map above and listed below with all sectors operated by 737-800's in both directions.

Current routes:

Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Bariloche (BRC) 
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Cordoba (COR) 
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Corrientes (CNQ) 
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Jujuy (JUJ) 
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Mendoza (MDZ) 
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Neuquen (NQN) 
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Tucuman (TUC) 

Cordoba (COR) - Bariloche (BRC)
Cordoba (COR) - Iguazu (IGR)
Cordoba (COR) - Mendoza (MDZ)

Mendoza (MDZ) - Bariloche (BRC)
Mendoza (MDZ) - Iguazu (IGR)

Flybondi Route Network (projected for 02Jul18)

In addition, Flybondi is scheduled to add four new routes, all from Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) to destinations that will be new to the airline's network,  between May and July of this year as illustrated in red above and listed below.   

Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Posadas (PSS), eff 15May18 
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Bahia Blanca (BHI), eff 30May18 
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Salta (SLA), eff 15Jun18  
Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) - Santiago del Estero (SDE), eff 02Jul18 

The airline is scheduled to take delivery of its fourth and fifth 737-800's in May and June, respectively, which will be used to introduce the new services.



Made using

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Flybondi - On-Time Arrival Survey during 16Apr18-27Apr18 - Big Improvement !

Flybondi's Early Operational Problems 

Flybondi recently completed its first three months of service, which the carrier inaugurated on 26Jan18.  The airline experienced many delays and operational problems in its early stages due to a variety of reasons ranging from only having one operational aircraft during its few weeks of service to restrictions on the number of operations that it was allowed to operate at its main base, Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA).  See the following links to previous postings for further details: 

Flybondi's first month of service plagued with operational problems

Flight On-Time Arrival Survey - 16Apr18-27Apr18

The editor of this blog recently undertook to evaluate Flybondi's on-time arrival performance through a survey of the punctuality of its flight operations.  The initial idea was to follow all flights throughout the Flybondi route system during the two-week period from Monday, 16Apr18 to Sunday, 29Apr18.  However, the last two days of this period saw severe storms in much of Argentina, especially in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, including Flybondi's Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) base, resulting in many delays that would have distorted a survey that included these two days, so the observed period was abbreviated to the twelve days between 16Apr18 to 27Apr18.  The results were as follows:
* 175 flights scheduled

* 126 flights arrived early or 15 or fewer minutes late = 72% on-time performance

* 35 flights were more than 15 minutes late = 20% 

* 14 flights canceled = 8%  


72% on-time performance is relatively low but it is still much better than Flybondi's performance during its first month of service when most of its flights were late, many by several hours. 

8% of flights canceled is also quite high but again, it is much better than during Flybondi's first month when cancellations reached 17% of all flights. 

Interestingly, 99 or 57% of Flybondi's flights during the 12-day period noted above arrived early, some as many as 30 minutes before their scheduled arrival.  


Flybondi will be adding four new cities to its route network in the coming months; Bahia Blanca (BHI), Posadas (PSS), Salta (SLA), and Santiago de Estero (SDE) but the airline is also scheduled to take delivery of its fourth and fifth 737-800's in May and June, respectively, with five more due by year's end for a total of ten 737-800's by then.

With more aircraft and its staff gaining more experience as they get into a regular routine, Flybondi's operations will presumably become more efficient and the carrier's performance will probably steadily improve.    


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

FLEET UPDATE & ROUTE UPDATE: Iberia to introduce first upgraded A350-900 between Madrid (MAD) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 08Mar19

Iberia A350-900 artist's impression. (Image: Iberia Airlines)

UPDATE 10May18:

Iberia recently clarified that it loaded the A350-900 in its reservation system as operating between Madrid (MAD) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) starting in March 2019 only as a test and it did not signal an actual change of aircraft for one of its two daily flights between the two cities from the A340-600 to the A350-900.  The airline plans to continue operating two daily A340-600 flights between the Spanish and Argentine capitals. 


Iberia will take delivery of the first of 16 Airbus A350-900's that it has on order in June of this year.  After placing the aircraft into initial service on some European routes to familiarize flight crews and other staff with the type, Iberia  will start flying the A350 on its first regular route, Madrid (MAD) - London-Heathrow (LHR) in July, followed by its first long-haul service, Madrid (MAD) - New York Kennedy (JFK), in August. 

The A350-900's second long-haul international route will be Madrid (MAD) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) starting on 08Mar19 when it will replace one of two daily A340-600's currently flying this sector.

Upgraded Version's Aerodynamic Improvements = Lower Fuel Burn + More Range

Interestingly, Iberia will be the first airline to take delivery of the upgraded version of the A350-900 with aerodynamic improvements resulting in a 1% increase in fuel efficiency and a 100 nautical mile increase in range to 8,200nm for Iberia's 280 ton version. These modifications include:

1) A change in the "spanwise twist distribution" of the wing to change the pressure distribution of the wing. 

2) Larger "sharklets" made possible by greater wing strength discovered during static load testing.  The larger "sharklets" and modified twist of the wing together will lower the aircraft's induced drag. 

3) Structural improvements lowering the operational empty weight of the aircraft.