Monday, July 31, 2017

Azul Uruguay continues certification process - expected to fly to 5 cities in Argentina and Brazil

Azul Uruguay continues its certification process in relative silence as it prepares to start up operations in September or October of this year with four ATR-72-600's and one Embraer 190/195 from Montevideo (MVD) to five cities in Argentina and Brazil. 

The airline intends to fly the ATR-72-600's once daily each to Cordoba (COR), Rosario (ROS) and Porto Alegre (POA) and five times daily on the prized and highly-profitable Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) route.  The Embraer 190/195 will be used to service Campinas Viracopos (VCP), located some 60 miles / 100km from Sao Paulo due to the stage length being excessive for the ATR-72-600's.

Editor's Note:

One wonders what will happen on the Montevideo (MVD) - Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) "Air Bridge" with three airlines each operating multiple daily flights on the route; Aerolineas Argentinas, Amaszonas Uruguay and Azul Uruguay.  This brings back memories of the 1970's when the two capitals were linked by Aerolineas with 737-200's and F-28's, Austral with YS-11's and PLUNA with Viscounts.  Will there be room for all three of today's airlines on this route ?               

Sunday, July 30, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Amaszonas Uruguay, Sky Airline, Level and Azul

Cordoba (COR) - Montevideo (MVD) - eff 24Aug17

To be operated 3x/weekly with CRJ-200's.  This will represent the return of non-stop service between the Argentine and Uruguayan cities for the first time since PLUNA closed down in July 2012.  

The planned addition of a third CRJ-200 to the Amaszonas Uruguay fleet, joining CX-SDU (c/n 7209) and CX-LVA (c/n 7561), will make possible both this new service and another daily frequency on the Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Montevideo (MVD) route for a total of 4x/daily weekday services on the "Air Bridge" between these two cities.

Rosario (ROS) - Santiago (SCL) - eff 03Oct17

To be operated 3x/weekly with A319's.  Rosario will be the Chilean LCC's fourth destination in Argentina joining Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Cordoba (COR) and Mendoza (MDZ).  

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Barcelona (BCN) - Frequency Increase - eff 29Oct17

The recently started route by new Iberia low-cost (LCC) affiliate Level will increase from 3x/weekly to 5x/weekly flights using A330-200's on 29Oct17.

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Navegantes (NVT) - eff 11Dec17 

To be operated 1x/daily with E195's. 

Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Cabo Frio (CFB) - eff 16Dec17 - 03Mar18 (seasonal) 

To be operated 1x/weekly with E195's.

Sources: via Eric Trum  via Eric Trum

Friday, July 28, 2017

PHOTO GALLERY: Cessna Citation Series at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Part 3 of 3

Ledesma Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign, LV-CFQ (c/n 680-0303), at Aeroparque on 29Jan11. (Phil Perry Photo)

Cessna 650 Citation VII, LV-WTN (c/n 650-7054), at Aeroparque on 01Aug10.  This aircraft was flying for the Argentine Ledesma paper and agribusiness company at the time but has since been re-registered and is now operating with the Aeronautical Division of the Province of La Rioja as LQ-WTN. (Phil Perry Photo)  

Cessna 750 Citation X, LV-BRJ (c/n 750-0013), at Aeroparque on 29Jan11.  At the time, this aircraft was flying for Royal Class, an Argentine aircraft charter company, but has since gone on to Inter Air Leasing as N405LS. (Phil Perry Photo)   

Royal Class Cessna 525 CitationJet, LV-AMB (c/n 525-0045), at Aeroparque on 24Sep10. (Phil Perry Photo) 

Royal Class Cessna 525 CitationJet, LV-AXN (c/n 525-0327), at Aeroparque on 06Aug16. (Phil Perry Photo)


Thursday, July 27, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas starting Cordoba (COR) - Santiago (SCL) and increasing flights to Asuncion (ASU)

Cordoba (COR) - Santiago (SCL) - eff 03Sep17

To be operated 3x/weekly with Austral E190's.  These flights will connect with flights to/from northern Argentina through the carrier's Cordoba (COR) hub including Jujuy (JUJ), Resistencia (RES), Tucuman (TUC) and Iguazu (IGR).  This last airport will allow Chileans to visit the famous Iguazu Falls faster and more easily than routing through Buenos Aires.  

Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral will compete with LATAM Argentina's 19-year presence on the COR-SCL route and Sky Airline's one-year old service between the two cities.   

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Asuncion (ASU) - eff 05Sep17

This route will see three new early evening flights northbound to Asuncion (ASU) that return in the late evening back to Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays complementing the daily morning flights in both directions allowing for same-day round-trips by business travelers between the two cities.  

These new flights will complement the existing 7x/weekly flights each from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Asuncion (ASU).

All Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral flights between Argentina and Paraguay are operated with Austral E190's.   

Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral competes with Amaszonas Paraguay's 12/weekly CRJ-200's between AEP and ASU plus LATAM Mercosur's 1x/daily A320 flights between EZE and ASU. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-800 LV-FUA tailstrike in Bariloche (BRC) - How Serious ?

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-8HX, LV-FUA (c/n 40548/4995), taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 07Aug16. (Phil Perry Photo)

The above-pictured aircraft was operating Aerolineas Argentinas flight AR1672 from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Bariloche (BRC) on 13Feb17 when on final approach to BRC's runway 29 at 12:51pm local time, the crew initiated a go-around but the tail struck the runway reportedly BEFORE its wheels touched down, resulting in the tail taking the full force of the impact. This event was unlike the ordinary tail strikes which take place on takeoff due to an excessive rotation and resulting nose-up attitude that cause the tail to come into contact with the ground but usually without much force resulting in more of a scraping effect rather than an impact, as such. 

LV-FUA completed its go-around and landed normally back at BRC twelve minutes later without further incident.  Its return flight to Aeroparque was cancelled and the aircraft taken out of service and ferried back to Buenos Aires on 03Mar17, presumably Ezeiza (EZE) where Aerolineas has heavy maintenance facilities, where LV-FUA was inspected with some repairs made and put back into service in late April.

Editor's Comments: 

The event was characterized as a "Serious Incident" by the JIAAC Argentine national aviation investigation agency.  The damage appears to have been potentially serious enough to lead me (admittedly not an engineer or maintenance expert) to wonder if inspection of the aircraft would have required expertise on fundamental fuselage construction and engineering that might only be available at the manufacturer level, in this case the Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company.
One apparently knowledgeable reader of Aviation Herald commented in the publication shortly after the incident on 16Feb17: 

"The repair will be a couple of weeks maybe months, partially re-skinning and replacing lower sections of a few frames. Aircraft needs to be stress jacked and kept in alignment so the logistics are quite elaborate. The entire fuselage will have to be inspected, including the aft pressure bulkhead as the impact could have "whipped" through other parts of the fuselage. 737 Nose gear shimmy events even require aft pressure bulkhead inspections."

Is that kind of heavy engineering and basic construction expertise available at airlines, who are thoroughly trained on aircraft maintenance but presumably would not have the same depth of knowledge as those who actually built the aircraft ?  


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas receives its 29th 737-800, LV-GVA

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-887, LV-GVA (c/n 60499/6488), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 20Jul17 after flying from Seattle's Boeing Field (BFI) via Punta Cana (PUJ).  

The aircraft is the 29th 737-800 to join Aerolineas' fleet with five more on order to be followed by the first 737 MAX 8's in November this year, which will be the first 737 MAX models delivered to a Latin American airline. As the airline receives more 737-800's its 737-700 fleet continues to be retired from a high of 22 aircraft in service in 2015 to 11 remaining today.  So far, all of Aerolineas' 737-700's have gone on to serve with Southwest Airlines. 


Monday, July 24, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Andes receives its second 737-800, LV-HHK

Andes Lineas Aereas received its second 737-85F, LV-HHK (c/n 30567/761), when the aircraft arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on the late afternoon of 16Jul17 painted all-white with the only color being the Andes logo on the engines.  The aircraft was delivered to South African Airways in January 2001 and also flew for Firefly and Malaysia Airlines before recently arriving in Argentina.       

LV-HHK is the seventh aircraft in the currently active Andes fleet, joining five MD-83's and one other recently-delivered 737-800. 

The airline has recently been experiencing frequent severe delays with many flights operating 8-10 hours late.  Andes has recently added a lot of new scheduled routes to complement its existing services and extensive charter operations but the new aircraft to accommodate this growth, one MD-83 and two 737-800's, were delivered weeks/months later than expected, which presumably led to an equipment shortage and flights being rescheduled, sometimes hours at a time to be able to complete all of the airline's flight commitments each day. 

The new deliveries will presumably lead to a reduction in the number of long flight delays. 


Sunday, July 23, 2017

PHOTO GALLERY: Cessna Citation Series at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Part 2 of 3

Lima Victor S.A. Cessna 560 Citation Ultra, LV-CTX (c/n 560-0396), taxis at Aeroparque on 06Aug16. (Phil Perry Photo)

Nuevo Banco Santa Fe Cessna 560 Citation Encore, LV-CBB (c/n 560-0697), on 29Oct10, a dark drizzly day at Aeroparque. (Phil Perry Photo) 

Cessna 560XL Citation Excel, LV-AIW (c/n 560-5350), at Aeroparque on 24Sep10, then flying for Tango Jet / Tango Sur .  This aircraft now carries the registration N562HC, apparently flying in the United States for H2C Air. (Phil Perry Photo)

Cessna 560 Citation Excel, LV-CCF (c/n 560-5150), landing at Aeroparque on 11Feb12, then flying for Royal Class.  It now carries the registration N817LF flying for Frayer Jets in the United States. (Phil Perry Photo)  

Sister ship to LV-CCF, Cessna 560 Citation Excel, LV-CCG (c/n 560-5137), at Aeroparque in October 2012, then flying for Royal Class. This aircraft now carries the registration N785DW flying for Southfield LLC in the US. (Phil Perry Photo) 


Friday, July 21, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Andes adds 5th MD-80 LV-BEG to its active fleet

Austral MD-83, LV-BEG (c/n 49630/1591), taxiing at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 01Oct10 prior to its retirement from service with the carrier in April 2012. (Phil Perry Photo)

Andes Lineas Aereas added MD-83, LV-BEG (c/n 49630/1591), to its fleet when the aircraft arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 08Jul17.  It is the airline's  5th currently active MD-83 and seventh active aircraft overall including its two recently delivered 737-800's. 

LV-BEG was delivered to Spanair in 1989 joining Austral on 21Mar06 until its retirement in April 2012 and subsequent storage at San Juan (UAQ) from 10Apr12 until September 2014.  Shortly after that the MD-83 entered service with Sanford (SFB) Florida-based charter carrier Orange Air registered as N926AV until June 2017, just prior to its return to Argentina to fly for Andes.  

Welcome Home ! ! !  


Thursday, July 20, 2017

AIRLINE FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas retires its 11th 737-700, LV-CXN

Aerolineas Argentinas 737-7Q8, LV-CXN (c/n 30638/858), taxis at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 06Aug16.  (Phil Perry Photo) 

The above pictured aircraft left the Aerolineas Argentinas fleet on 13Jul17 when it departed Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Paine Field (PAE) in Washington state, USA where it arrived the following day.  
Aerolineas has operated a total of 22 737-700's with eleven still in the fleet. All ten 737-700's that it has retired have gone on to serve with Southwest Airlines and LV-CXN will soon join them flying for the Texas-based carrier. 


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Avianca Argentina starts flying subservices and charters, not regularly scheduled flights

Avianca Argentina flew its first commercial services on 12Jul17 operating subservices for Andes Lineas Aereas that has been experiencing severely delayed flights, apparently due to delays in the addition of more aircraft to its fleet.   

Avianca Argentina's two ATR-72-600's, LV-GUG (c/n 1343) and LV-GUH (c/n 1395), flew from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Jujuy (JUJ) and Salta (SLA) respectively, in the early evening of Wednesday, 12Jul17 somewhat unexpectedly and with no prior announcement.  The aircraft operated services that would normally be operated by Andes' MD-80's or its single 737-800.

Three days later on Saturday, 15Jul17, the airline's two ATR-72-600's again flew commercial services in the form of three charter flights from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to the small airport of Malargue (LGS) that serves the well-known Argentine ski resort of Las Lenas.  The airline reportedly has a contract to operate several more such charters through mid-August. 

It was originally announced that Avianca Argentina would start regularly scheduled services on 11Jul17 from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Resistencia (RES) replacing the flights operated by the ex-Macair Jetstreams that it acquired when it bought the small carrier in 2016 but scheduled flights have apparently been delayed until approximately October 2017.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) only had domestic flights and international service to Montevideo (MVD) and Punta del Este (PDP) Uruguay up until 01Mar10 when new international routes were authorized to the neighboring countries of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.  

Since then, several airlines, including Aerolineas Argentinas, Amaszonas Paraguay, Austral, Gol, LATAM Argentina, LATAM Brazil and LATAM Chile, have added service between Aeroparque and these countries but by order of the ANAC Argentina National Aviation Agency, they will have to move half of their flights to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) by 09Apr18 with the other half to be moved there by 01Apr19.  Additionally, no new international flights (other than to Uruguay) may be added from Aeroparque effective 10Jul17.  

The objective of this new policy is to free up space for the continued growth of domestic service by Aerolineas, Austral, Andes and LATAM Argentina plus new flights by the anticipated start-up of Avianca Argentina, Norwegian Argentina and possibly other new carriers too.  

Current international flights out of Aeroparque, other than to Uruguay, are listed below.  They add up to an average of 424 flights per week (departures and arrivals) out of a total of 2,420 weekly commercial movements, comprising 17.5% of Aeroparque's weekly airline flights.     

* Aerolineas Argentinas

BoliviaSanta Cruz de la Sierra (VVI)

BrazilPorto Alegre (POA), Porto Seguro (BPS), Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), Salvador de Bahia (SSA), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)

ChileSantiago (SCL)

* Amaszonas Paraguay

Paraguay: Asuncion (ASU)

* Austral

BoliviaSanta Cruz de la Sierra (VVI)

BrazilCuritiba (CWB), Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG)

ParaguayAsuncion (ASU)

* Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes

Brazil: Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)

* LATAM Argentina

Brazil: Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)

Chile: Santiago (SCL)

* LATAM Brazil

Brazil: Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)

* LATAM Chile

Chile: Santiago (SCL)