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): 

http://argentina-airline-news.blogspot.com.ar/2017/01/airline-route-update-andes-lineas.html

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

Sources:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Andes Lineas Aereas modifies Titles & Logo with New Color Schemes


Andes Lineas Aereas has modified its titles and changed its logo (as illustrated above) and has applied the new titles to MD-83, LV-AYD (c/n 53015/1818), on both the fuselage and tail in what will apparently be a fleetwide modified scheme.

This artist's rendering as published in the Sir Chandler blog shows profiles of the new scheme:

http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2017/03/andes-mete-pequeno-cambio-diseno-aviones/

Photos of LV-AYD on the avacionline.com website: 

http://www.aviacionline.com/2017/03/nuevo-livery-de-andes-lineas-aereas/

It is also possible that the airline will change its scheme entirely to have the new-style titles on the fuselage in a billboard format, the new logo on the tail plus a red rear upper fuselage and grey lower rear fuselage as shown in the Linea ALA blog on both its current MD-80 fleet and planned future 737-800 aircraft :      

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/03/andes-con-nuevos-colores.html 

Monday, March 27, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Gol, Avianca and Azul


Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Manaus (MAO) - eff 04Feb17

Operated by 737-800's 1x/weekly southbound on Saturdays and northbound on Sundays. 

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Belo Horizonte (CNF) - eff 05Mar17

Operated by 737-800's 1x/weekly southbound on Sundays and northbound on Mondays. 


Montevideo (MVD) - Bogota (BOG) - eff 15May17

Operated by by A319's 1x/daily. 



* Sao Paulo / Campinas Viracopos (VCP) - Bariloche (BRC) - eff 01Jul17 - 12Aug17

Operated by A320neo's 1x/weekly on Saturdays on a charter basis.

Sources: 

http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/271271/gol-adds-new-argentina-routes-in-1q17/  via Eric Trum
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170223/avn-170223.html
http://www.aviacionline.com/2017/03/azul-volara-entre-bariloche-y-san-pablo-durante-la-temporada-de-invierno/

Sunday, March 26, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Both LATAM Brasil and LATAM Chile flying A321's to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP)


LATAM Brasil A321-231, PT-MXF (c/n 4352), in TAM colors taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 07Mar17.  (Phil Perry Photo)

Two of the LATAM carriers flying out of Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), LATAM Brasil and LATAM Chile, have recently replaced the A320 with the larger A321 on several of their flights out of the Argentine airport.

LATAM Brasil is operating the A321 on two of of its three daily flights from Aeroparque to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) at least into April (apparently not seasonal) and LATAM Chile is flying the A321 on at least one of its three daily flights to Santiago (SCL).

Sources:

www.latam.com
http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2017/03/los-airbus-321-se-acomodaron-aeroparque/

Saturday, March 25, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: New Spanish LCC named "Level" to fly from Barcelona (BCN) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) in June

An A330-200 in the colors of new Spanish LCC Level. (Artist's Image)

The International Airlines Group (IAG), owner of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is planning to start a new intercontinental Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) named Level starting operations in June with A330-200's.  The new airline will be based in Barcelona (BCN) with initial flights to Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK) (near San Francisco), Punta Cana (PUJ), and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) starting in June 2017.

Flights to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) will start on 17Jun17 operating 3x/weekly.

The new carrier's website is www.flylevel.com

Source:

http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2017/03/level-nombre-la-low-cost-iberia-arranca-junio-volar-barcelona-buenos-aires/

Friday, March 24, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Flyest taking over Sol Lineas Aereas AOC and Route Authorities

New details have emerged about Flyest, the new regional airline that was recently announced to start up in early April of this year, which came as a surprise since no previous information about the carrier was disclosed in any publication.  

Ownership

The airline is presently owned by three individuals; Gustavo Cebreiro, Juan Nyffenegger and Horacio Darréformer, all of whom had minority stakes in Sol Lineas Aereas, the Rosario-based regional carrier which shut down in early 2016.  The Angeli family, which had a majority stake in Sol, will reportedly not have any ownership in Flyest.  The current owners will apparently soon sell 49% of the airline to Inversora Líneas Aéreas Internacionales (ILAI), the Argentine affiliate of Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum, which was involved in a joint venture with Sol at the time of its shutdown last year.  

Sol Lineas Aereas AOC & Routes

Flyest is reportedly in the process of acquiring Sol's operating certificate and route rights from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Mar del Plata (MDQ), Rosario (ROS), Rafaela (RAF), Santa Fe (SFN) and Montevideo (MVD) with the intention of starting service to Uruguay very soon on 07Apr17.

Normally, if an Argentine carrier does not fly for six months it loses its route rights but plans for Flyest were apparently already underway at that point and the carrier's management asked for an extension of this deadline and received it.  

First Aircraft

Flyest's first aircraft is one of the former Sol / Air Nostrum CRJ-200's, LV-GIJ (c/n 7466), which was parked in Asuncion (ASU) since early 2016 until it was recently flown to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP).  The aircraft sported Sol's last Austral-style color scheme without titles while it was parked in Paraguay but was quickly painted with Flyest titles before its flight to Argentina with no changes being made to the basic scheme.  Four other CRJ-200's and 120 staff, many of them former Sol employees, are expected to join the carrier by year's end.

Editor's Note

Flyest's start up date seems way too ambitious since transferring the Air Operator Certificate from one entity to another normally still requires many of the procedures involved in acquiring an original AOC, such as demonstrating the financial and operating fitness to operate an air carrier.      

Sources:

http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170309/avn-170309.html
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1992896-flyest-con-los-aviones-pintados-de-apuro-ya-tiene-todo-listo-para-empezar-a-volar-en-la-argentina

Thursday, March 23, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Avianca Argentina took delivery of 2nd ATR-72-600 on 11Mar17


Avianca Argentina's second ATR-72-600, LV-GUH (c/n 1395), arrived at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 11Mar17.  The third aircraft of twelve on order, LV-GUY, is expected in Argentina in late March or early April.    

Source:

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/03/esta-llegando-el-segundo-atr-de-avianca.html

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

President Macri announces Argentina National Air Transportation Policy

Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced the country's National Air Transportation Policy at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires on March 6. 

Double the Number Of Argentine Domestic Passengers

The goal of the policy is to double the number of passengers traveling by air domestically within Argentina by the end of his presidential term in December 2019 from the current 10 million per year to 22 million annually.  This increase in passenger traffic is expected to generate 25,000 jobs in direct and indirect employment in the airlines and related travel and tourism businesses.

One of the reasons motivating this goal is that the air traffic of some of Argentina's neighbors has increased dramatically since 2000 while Argentina's has grown minimally.  For example, as of 2000, approximately 18% of Argentines, Peruvians and Chileans had flown at least once in their lifetime. As of today, 21% of Argentines have flown while 30% of Peruvians and 56% of Chileans have, demonstrating that there is considerable room for growth in the Argentine domestic air travel market.  

Three-Pronged Strategy

The doubling of passengers would be accomplished through: 

1) Increase the number of travelers carried domestically by Aerolineas Argentinas by 4 million per year (a 48% increase) through the addition of more aircraft currently on order that would be deployed on an increasing number of routes and with greater frequency.

2) Another 8 million annual passengers would be carried by other carriers, including existing airlines, such as Andes Lineas Aereas, American Jet and proposed new carriers, such as Flybondi, Avianca Argentina, Alas del Sur, Flyest and possibly even Norwegian and Irelandia Aviation (realeted to Ryanair). 

3) A 22 thousand million (22 billion in the US) peso investment (approx. US$ 15 billion) in improving the infrastructure at 19 airports, including upgrades to navigation systems to facilitate operations in inclement weather. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas receives its 27th 737-800, LV-GUB, on 15Feb17

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-8SH, LV-GUB (c/n 42060/6266), taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 07Mar17.  (Phil Perry Photo)

This aircraft reportedly arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 15Feb17.  It is Aerolineas' 27th 737-800 and is apparently leased from Air Lease Corporation.   

Source:

http://linea-ala.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/vuelo-de-entrega.html
http://www.airfleets.net/ficheapp/plane-b737ng-42060.htm

Monday, March 20, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Flybondi and Avianca Argentina Route Approvals put on hold by Argentine Ministry of Transportation

The Argentine ANAC aviation authority route approvals stemming from the December 27 route hearings were confirmed by the Ministry of Transportation for Andes Lineas Aereas, American Jet and Alas del Sur but not for Flybondi or Avianca Argentina.



Flybondi

Flybondi's approvals are on hold until the airline comes up with more concrete plans regarding the type of aircraft that it will fly and establishes its technical competence to operate.  At the time of this posting the carrier announced that it plans to start service with the 737-800.  No specific order or lease plans were announced but the company has apparently come to a customer support agreement with Boeing and plans to negotiate the acquisition of aircraft for the start of service in the second half of 2017.  

Julian Cook, Flybondi's CEO, further commented that the carrier will soon start negotiations for the acquisition of 50 Boeing 737 MAX 200's, which is a new variant of the 737 MAX series launched for Ryanair that can hold up to 200 seats.  
Avianca Argentina

Avianca Argentina's plans are suspended because the carrier established itself in Argentina through the purchase in 2016 of the air operator certificate of Macair, a small charter and contract carrier, owned by Argentine President Mauricio Macri's family.  There are suspicions on the part of some parties, generally those of the political opposition, that the president's family has retained a financial stake in the new carrier, which would be a potential conflict of interest since the president is the key figure in determining Argentine national air policy and could inappropriately favor Avianca Argentina.  An investigation is underway. 

Avianca CEO German Efromovich has questioned the delay and has reportedly threatened to sue the Argentine government if the delay goes on for an indefinite amount of time.  In any case, the airline plans to start flying charters immediately with its two recently delivered ATR-72-600's.  

La Nacion newspaper recently revealed that Avianca bought Macair (in early 2016) for US$ 10 million to be paid in installments by 2018, with the purchase including the transfer of Macair's Air Operator Certificate, the company's hangar at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and five aircraft (presumably its fleet of five Jetstream 32's).       

Sources:

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1990552-el-gobierno-postego-el-ingreso-de-avianca-al-mercado-low-cost-hasta-que-se-resuelva-el-conflicto-judicial
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170309/avn-170309.html
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170316/avn-170316.html

Saturday, March 18, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: ANAC authorizes routes to Flybondi, Avianca Argentina, Alas del Sur, Andes & American Jet - ROUTE AWARD DETAILS

The five airlines had the following routes approved:

Flybondi

The European-backed startup had its routes approved on the basis of operating its Buenos Aires-originating flights out of El Palomar (EPA) airport, located just west of the national capital.  

Routes include flights from El Palomar (EPA) to Cordoba (COR), Esquel (EQS), Iguazu (IGR), Mendoza (MDZ), Parana (PRA), San Luis (LUQ) and Viedma (VDM).  Plus three routes from Cordoba (COR and two from Mendoza (MDZ). 

Flybondi also had two international routes approved to Santiago (SCL):

Iguazu (IGR) - Santiago (SCL)
Salta (SLA) - Santiago (SCL) 

And several to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU):

Bariloche (BRC) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Cordoba (COR) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Iguazu (IGR) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Mendoza (MDZ) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Rosario (ROS) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Salta (SLA) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)

Avianca Argentina  

The Argentine affiliate of the main Colombian carrier, Avianca, had 16 routes approved, all originating in Buenos Aires, that are suitable to the relatively short range of the 12-strong ATR-72-600 fleet that it is in the process of acquiring.  

These include Buenos Aires to Concordia (COC), Rosario (ROS), Santa Fe (SFN) Sunchales (NCJ), Tandil (TDL) and Villa Maria (VMA) plus the Buenos Aires - San Luis (LUQ) - Rio Cuarto (RCU) - Buenos Aires triangle route.  

Points that are a little more distant in Patagonia were also awarded including Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) and Puerto Madryn (PMY).

Avianca Argentina also had two international routes approved; Porto Alegre (POA) and the coveted Buenos Aires - Montevideo (MVD) "Air Bridge". 

The carrier did not request routes out of Tucuman (TUC) related to its subsidy agreement with the province of Tucuman but this is expected to happen in the second round of route audiences to be held in April.  

Alas del Sur

Nearly all of the 21 routes approved for this Chinese-backed airline will be out of a Cordoba (COR) base, Argentina's second-largest city after Buenos Aires, and ideally located for hub operations in the center of the country.  

International routes were also approved for the carrier to Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI), Miami (MIA) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO) with an especially eye-catching route covering Cordoba (COR) - Buenos Aires - Los Angeles (LAX) - Shanghai Pudong (PVG) !   

Andes Lineas Aereas        

This carrier, which has been operating MD-80's from its Salta (SLA) base since 2006, received approval to expand its modest scheduled domestic network to include at least two multi-stop routes:

Buenos Aires - Rosario (ROS) - Resistencia (RES) - Posadas (PSS) - Iguazu (IGR).

Buenos Aires - Santiago del Estero (SDE) - Tucuman (TUC) - Salta (SLA) - Jujuy (JUJ).

It will also add scheduled international flights for the first time, including Buenos Aires - Cordoba (COR) - Lima (LIM) and Buenos Aires - Cordoba (COR) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU).

American Jet     

The Neuquen (NQN)-based charter airline received approval for numerous scheduled flights from Neuquen (NQN) including some international flights.

Highlights include:

Neuquen (NQN) - Rosario (ROS) - Buenos Aires - Punta del Este (PDP)
Neuquen (NQN) - Cordoba (COR) - Rosario (ROS) - Porto Alegre (POA)
Neuquen (NQN) - Cordoba (COR) - Resistencia (RES) - Asuncion (ASU)

It will be interesting to see what type of aircraft American Jet acquires if it goes ahead with its scheduled flight plans.  The only types of aircraft that it currently operates that are of an airline nature are a single ATR-42 and a few Fairchild Metros. 

Sources:

http://www.infobae.com/economia/2017/02/13/el-gobierno-aprobo-las-rutas-que-pidieron-las-aerolineas-low-cost-para-empezar-a-volar-en-2017/
http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2017/02/se-publicaron-los-resultados-de-la-audiencia-publica/
http://misionesonline.net/2017/02/13/la-anac-autorizo-las-nuevas-rutas-pedidas-por-empresas-aereas-privadas-en-la-audiencia-publica-de-diciembre/
http://aeropuertocordoba.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/luz-verde-para-37-nuevas-rutas-desde.html
http://www.lavoz.com.ar/negocios/cordoba-mas-cerca-de-sumar-37-nuevos-vuelos
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/fb.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/avian.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/alasdelsur.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/andes.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/americanjetsa.pdf
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170223/ACLARACION.pdf

Thursday, March 16, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: ANAC authorizes routes to Flybondi, Avianca Argentina, Alas del Sur, Andes & American Jet - SUMMARY

The ANAC Argentine aviation authority issued five route rights decisions on 13Feb17, one for each applicant; Flybondi, Avianca Argentina, Alas del Sur, Andes Lineas Aereas and American Jet.

Andes has operated regularly scheduled and charter flights in Argentina since 2006 and American Jet has operated charter flights for the oil and mining industries from the carrier's Neuquen (NQN) base and in the north of Argentina for a number of years, but the other carriers would be new start-ups with business plans that call for them to be Low-Cost Carriers (LCC) with Flybondi's management team probably having the strongest backgrounds to launch a true low cost carrier.  Flybondi's principals include CEO Julian Cook (founder and ex-CEO of Swiss carrier FlyBaboo), Ryanair board member and ex-COO Michael Cawley, ex-Air Canada CEO Montie Brewer, and British Airways City Flyer Express founder and ex-chairman Robert Wright.

135 out of the carriers' combined 156 route requests were approved, with four of the five airlines having all of their requests ok'd, with the exception being Flybondi, which wanted more routes than all of the other carriers combined.  It had 78 out of 99 routes approved. 

Now the carriers will have 180 days to demonstrate their technical capacity to start service, including an indication of what types of aircraft they will operate and how many. 

They do not have to start all of the routes immediately.  With the route rights being in effect for 15 years, they can start most of them sometime in the future. Also, international routes will require the approval of the destination countries' aviation authorities for service to start.

The routes were mostly approved on the basis of the following criteria, many of which were determined to protect existing service by Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM Argentina and avoid overcapacity.

* Routes with No Current Service

For example, Flybondi was approved to fly to Santiago (SCL) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) from both Salta (SLA) and Iguazu (IGR), neither of which currently has service to the Chilean and Brazilian airports.  

* Intermediate Stops

The airlines were usually authorized to fly routes with existing service only if at least one intermediate stop is included to avoid competing directly with existing Aerolineas Argentinas' non-stop flights. 

For example, Andes was approved to fly from Buenos Aires to both Lima (LIM) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) but only with a stop in Cordoba (COR) in both cases.

Multiple Legs

Closely related to the principle of intermediate stops, routes with several stops were also favored, again to protect Aerolineas. 

Using another example from Andes:  The carrier was approved to fly Buenos Aires - Rosario (ROS) - Resistencia (RES) - Posadas (PSS) - Iguazu (IGR) instead of the popular non-stop Buenos Aires - Iguazu (IGR) route already flown by Aerolineas and LATAM Argentina. 


* Multiple Legs - At least 50% must be Operated       

The route approvals involving multiple legs may only be operated with at least 50% of the stops being made.  The carriers do not have the option of dropping most of the intermediate points between the end cities. 

* Buenos Aires Airport to be Determined

In all routes including Buenos Aires, the ANAC reserved the right to determine which airport each carrier would use; Aeroparque (AEP), Ezeiza (EZE) or El Palomar (EPA). 

Sources:

http://www.infobae.com/economia/2017/02/13/el-gobierno-aprobo-las-rutas-que-pidieron-las-aerolineas-low-cost-para-empezar-a-volar-en-2017/
http://www.sirchandler.com.ar/2017/02/se-publicaron-los-resultados-de-la-audiencia-publica/
http://misionesonline.net/2017/02/13/la-anac-autorizo-las-nuevas-rutas-pedidas-por-empresas-aereas-privadas-en-la-audiencia-publica-de-diciembre/
http://aeropuertocordoba.blogspot.com.ar/2017/02/luz-verde-para-37-nuevas-rutas-desde.html
http://www.lavoz.com.ar/negocios/cordoba-mas-cerca-de-sumar-37-nuevos-vuelos
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/fb.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/avian.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/alasdelsur.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/andes.pdf
http://www.anac.gov.ar/anac/web/uploads/noticias_novedades/2017/dictamenes-jata/americanjetsa.pdf
http://www.siscoma.com.ar/online/aviacion/2017/avn170223/ACLARACION.pdf