Sunday, May 21, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Norwegian Air Argentina announces Fleet and Operational Plans

Norwegian Air Argentina presented its business plan to the Argentine ANAC aviation authority on March 31 in solicitation of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to enable it to participate in the next round of Argentine public route hearings, currently scheduled for June or July.    

The new LCC plans to eventually invest US$ 3.4 billion (3,400 million) in its Argentine operation employing between 3,000-3,500 staff operating 70 aircraft (737-800's and 787's) on 146 domestic and international routes from crew/aircraft bases in Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Cordoba (COR), and Mendoza (MDZ).  

The deployment of aircraft would happen in stages:

* 6 737-800 in service at the start of operations in late 2017 / early 2018
* 11 737-800 + 4 787 - 12 months after the start of service           
* 25 737-800 + 10 787 - 30 months after start-up
* 50 737-800 + 20 787 - 5-8 years after start-up

The airline would fly the main Argentine domestic routes, such as Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Cordoba (COR), Mendoza (MDZ) and Salta (SLA), claiming that its services would be more complementary than competitive with Aerolineas Argentinas, Austral and LATAM Argentina with most of its traffic coming from new passengers stimulated to travel by fares much lower than those currently available in these markets. 

These domestic routes would also feed Norwegian Air Argentina's proposed international routes from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to London Gatwick (LGW) (projected to start in December 2017), Barcelona (BCN), and even Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (STO) and Copenhagen (CPH).         

Norwegian Air Argentina forecasts that it will carry approx. 18.2 million passengers on up to 146 routes to 90 destinations in 25 countries once it reaches its projected service levels by around 2025-2026.  It claims that 55,000-60,000 indirect jobs would be created in related travel services, such as hotels, restaurants, ground transportation, shopping, etc.    

Following up on its application to the ANAC, the carrier announced in early May that it was hiring administrative staff immediately with the recruitment of flight crews to start in September.  

The carrier is expected to easily qualify for its AOC due to the parent company's size and credibility.  The Norwegian Air Group had US$ 3.1 billion (3,100 million) revenue in 2016 with 24.7 million passengers carried and 126 aircraft in service. It is the third-largest LCC in Europe and sixth-largest in the world.  It has 250 aircraft on order with Boeing and is the only airline to have proposed new service in Argentina that has the capability to operate to both Europe and the United States as well as Argentine domestic service. 


Monday, May 1, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas received its 28th 737-800, LV-GUC, on 20Apr17

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-8SH, LV-GUC (c/n 41358/6362), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 20Apr17.  It is the carrier's 28th 737-800 and along with the 14 737-700's still in its fleet (most of them are being returned as they come off lease), the airline currently has 42 737NG's.

Aerolineas still has a number of 737-800's on order with several orders being converted to the new 737 MAX 8 model, the first of which is due to be delivered later in 2017.   

Sunday, April 30, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Amaszonas Uruguay received its second CRJ-200, CX-LVA, in Montevideo (MVD) on 29Mar17

                                           (Amaszonas Uruguay Twitter account Photos)

Amaszonas Uruguay received its second CRJ-200, CX-LVA (c/n 7561), in Montevideo (MVD) on 29Mar17.  The aircraft came from Canada with a stop in Cochabamba (CBB) for painting in the carrier's colors before proceeding to Uruguay.  

Amaszonas Uruguay is expected to receive two more CRJ-200's before the end of the year for a fleet of four aircraft, which it plans to use to start service from Montevideo (MVD) to Cordoba (COR) and Santa Cruz (VVI) and for additional flights to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP).

The Amaszonas Group of airlines currently has a total fleet of eleven CRJ-200's with Amaszonas Linea Aerea (Bolivia) operating seven aircraft and Amaszonas Paraguay and Amaszonas Uruguay each having two CRJ-200's. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

FIRST PHOTO: Amaszonas Paraguay CRJ-200 first flight from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Asuncion (ASU)

Amaszonas Paraguay CRJ-200, ZP-CRN (c/n 7866), takes off from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Asuncion (ASU) on 20Apr17 operating the airline's first scheduled flight from Buenos Aires to Paraguay.  (Phil Perry Photo)  

ROUTE UPDATE: Amaszonas Paraguay started Asuncion (ASU) - Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) flights today, 20Apr17

Amaszonas Paraguay introduced new service from Asuncion (ASU) to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 20Apr17 with flights being operated 2x/daily using CRJ-200's.  

The carrier will join Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral E190's that currently service this route 1x/daily and LATAM Paraguay A320's that link Asuncion (ASU) with Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), also 1x/daily.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

ROUTE UPDATE: Rosario (ROS) to be Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral "Focus City" with more flights

Aerolineas Argentinas will soon operate more flights from Rosario (ROS), which serves Argentina's third-largest city, turning it into a "focus city". 

New services will be introduced and frequencies on existing routes will be increased to such destinations as Bariloche (BRC), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Cordoba (COR), El Calafate (FTE), Mendoza (MDZ) and Salta (SLA). 


Thursday, April 6, 2017

ROUTE UPDATE: Alitalia to introduce 777-300ER on Rome Fiumicino (FCO) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) route on 04Sep17

Alitalia will start taking delivery of 777-300ER's in the third quarter of this year with the first route to see service with the new type being Rome Fiumicino (FCO) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) starting on 04Sep17.  The 777-300ER will replace the 777-200 3x/weekly with the other 4x/weekly flights still being operated with the shorter 777 variant.   

However, it should be noted that the carrier is experiencing serious financial difficulties and might not be a going concern much longer. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: LATAM Brasil & LATAM Chile - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Bariloche (BRC), Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Bogota (BOG), Rosario (ROS) - Santiago (SCL)

* Rosario (ROS) - Santiago (SCL) - eff 01Jul17

Operated by LATAM Chile A320's 4x/weekly.  

Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Bariloche (BRC) - eff 01Jul17 - 30Jul17

Operated by LATAM Brasil A320's 2x/weekly on Saturdays and Sundays for the Bariloche ski season.  LATAM Brasil had only flown this route on a charter basis in the past; this is the first year that it is operating it on a scheduled basis. 

Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Bogota (BOG) - eff July 2017
Two additional weekly frequencies will be added to this route making it a daily service operated by LATAM Brasil 767-300ER's.  

According to Aviacion News, the reason for the EZE-BOG segment being operated by LATAM Brasil is that the air service agreement between Argentina and Brazil allows for "Fifth Freedom" rights, which enables carriers from each country to pick up passengers in the other country and transport them to a third country.  LATAM Brasil does this picking up passengers in Argentina and taking them to Colombia. 

It would normally have been easier for LATAM Argentina to operate between EZE and BOG instead of LATAM Brasil but the Argentina - Colombia bilateral air service agreement only allows for four flights per week by each nation's carriers and Aerolineas Argentinas already operates the Argentine quota. 


Sunday, April 2, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas to establish Cordoba (COR) hub effective 03Apr17

Map of Argentine cities to be connected through Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral Cordoba (COR) hub.  (Aerolineas Argentinas (?) via 

Aerolineas Argentinas announced that it will establish a hub in Cordoba (COR), which is Argentina's second-largest city and is ideally located in the country's center, on 03Apr17.  

The airline plans to have two banks of flights, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, with flights from six northern Argentine points connecting in Cordoba (COR) to seven southern points.  The flights would be timed for convenient connections in both directions.  

Passengers traveling between the cities that would be connected by the hubs are currently connecting on Aerolineas and Austral through Buenos Aires, mostly Aeroparque (AEP), which adds travel time, but the main reasons for having a second major hub in the country are to avoid saturating Aeroparque (AEP) which has only one runway and limited space to expand, plus to help development and spur growth of employment in Argentina's "Interior". 

The cities to be connected include, as illustrated above, (plus El Calafate (FTE) and Trelew (REL)):


Iguazu (IGR)
Jujuy (JUJ)
Resistencia (RES)
Rosario (ROS)
Salta (SLA) 
Tucuman (TUC)

Bariloche (BRC)
Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) 
El Calafate (FTE)
Mendoza (MDZ)
Neuquen (NQN) 
Trelew (REL)
Ushuaia (USH)


Friday, March 31, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Norwegian expected to participate in April Route Hearings

Norwegian, one of the largest and most formidable European low-cost carriers (LCC) with something of a "cut-throat" reputation, did not participate in the 27Dec16 Argentine route hearings but it is expected to make proposals at the second round of route hearings to be held in April.  

Norwegian has indicated that it plans to invest US$ 2 billion (thousand million) in Argentina in the next decade while deploying 40 aircraft, presumably of the 737NG and/or MAX series, and employing 1,200 workers. 


Thursday, March 30, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas - Rio Cuarto (RCU), Barcelona (BCN), Rome Fiumicino (FCO) & "Corredor Atlantico"

* Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Rio Cuarto (RCU) - eff 03Apr17 

This service, which is currently operated by Austral using E190's on a Cordoba (COR) - Rio Cuarto (RCU) - Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) basis with 1x/daily round-trip will see the Cordoba (COR) legs dropped and will instead be operated 2x/daily from AEP to RCU round-trip, still by Austral E190's. 

"Corredor Atlantico" - Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Mar del Plata (MDQ) - Bahia Blanca (BHI) - Trelew (REL) - Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) - Ushuaia (USH) - eff 03Apr17

Operated by Austral E190's, presumably 1x/daily.  This flight will depart EZE at mid-morning to allow connections from intercontinental flights to points along the east coast of Argentina all the way south to Ushuaia (USH).  

This concept is similar to the other three "corredor" multi-leg routes that Aerolineas operates connecting "interior" cities of the country; the "Sur", "Norte", and "Petrolero" with the latter connecting points related to the Argentine oil industry. 

* Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Rome Fiumicino (FCO) - increased frequencies & aircraft change

Effective 02May17, 5th weekly flight
Effective 04Jun17, 6th weekly flight
Effective 06Jul17, 7th weekly flight

Aircraft type is changing from A340 to A330 on 01May17.

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Barcelona (BCN) - increased frequencies & aircraft change

Effective sometime during the northern summer season, increase from 4x/weekly to 5x/weekly, and change aircraft type from A340 to A330 in May.  

Sources: via Eric Trum

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FLEET UPDATE & ROUTE UPDATE: Andes expanding with New Scheduled Routes & More Aircraft

Andes Lineas Aereas of Salta (SLA), which started flying with MD-80's in 2005, has always had a modest scheduled route network complemented with a lot of charter flying for sports teams and especially the student vacation market to the Bariloche (BRC) lake and mountain resort.

While most growth opportunities were stifled during the previous Argentine presidential administrations, the new growth-oriented air transportation policy in the country will apparently see the carrier's scheduled network grow substantially in the coming months. 

Fleet Status & Update

Andes currently operates four MD-83's, all ex-Austral with two of them having been originally delivered to Aerolineas Argentinas' sister carrier in 1989/90.  

LV-AYD (c/n 53015/1818)
LV-CCJ (c/n 49621/1495)
LV-WGM (c/n 49784/1627) - Austral original delivery in 1989
LV-WGN (c/n 49934/1764) - Austral original delivery in 1990

The carrier is expected to take delivery of two MD-83's (probably ex-Delta) and two 737-800's, tentatively ex-Malaysian, 9M-FFD (c/n 30007/746) and 9M-FFE (c/n 30567/761), both in storage since late 2016, with the first aircraft expected in May. 

Route Status & Update

Andes' scheduled route network presently links Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) with Salta (SLA) and Jujuy (JUJ) in northwest Argentina plus Cordoba (COR) in the center and Puerto Madryn (PMY) on the Patagonian Atlantic coast.  Mendoza (MDZ), in the western wine country, near Chile was just added on a twice-daily basis from AEP on 20Mar17. 

The next destination to be added to its scheduled route network is Bariloche (BRC) from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) effective 16Jun17 to be followed tentatively by Iguazu Falls (IGR) and Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD).  

The 27Dec16 route hearings saw Andes granted routes that will see the carrier accumulate a network of 14 domestic destinations plus international service to Lima (LIM), Santiago (SCL) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU):

Finally, its charter services, including flights to the Caribbean are expected to continue into the future.