Thursday, January 18, 2018

FLEET UPDATE: Norwegian Air Argentina's first 737-800 arrived in Argentina on 15Jan18

Norwegian Air Argentina's first 737-800, LV-HQH (c/n 42278/6347), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 15Jan18 after its delivery flight from Oslo (OSL) via Goose Bay (YYR) Canada and Fort de France (FDF) Martinique  The aircraft flew to Argentina with a sticker sporting the registration EI-FVO covering the Argentine registration until it arrived on Argentine soil when the sticker was removed revealing its new identity.

As with other aircraft of the Norwegian Air family, LV-HQH's tail carries the image of a notable individual of the nation where the aircraft is based, in this case that of the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, most famous for his innovative tango compositions. 

LV-HQH is a fairly new aircraft having been delivered to Norwegian Air International on 06Apr17 bearing its former registration EI-FVO. 

Photos and video of the aircraft from the blog Sir Chandler:

Norwegian still needs to go through the months-long process of obtaining its Air Operator's Certificate, which will entail demonstrating its fitness to run a safe and viable airline operation through the publication of manuals, staff training, introducing safe operational procedures, operating route-proving flights, etc.  LV-HQH will be used in many facets of this process.   

The airline is expected to start commercial operations in the second half of 2018 with flights from all three Buenos Aires airports; Aeroparque (AEP), Ezeiza (EZE), and El Palomar (EPA) with 10-12 737-800's expected in the fleet by the end of the year.      

Norwegian expects its Argentine affiliate to eventually fly 787's internationally. 


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

FLEET UPDATE: Andes third 737-800 arrived in Argentina on 13Dec17

Andes Lineas Aereas' third 737-800, LV-HKZ (c/n 30882/760), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on its delivery flight on 13Dec17.  The aircraft was originally delivered to Hapag Lloyd in 2001 and continued to fly in Germany for Air Berlin and most recently TUIfly before joining Andes.

Andes' fleet currently consists of five active MD-83's, including three that previously flew with Austral and two that served with Spanair, plus three 737-800's with more 800's expected to eventually replace all of its MD-80 fleet.  

The carrier dramatically expanded its regularly-scheduled network from four to eleven cities in 2017 with new destinations including Bariloche (BRC), Cordoba (COR), Iguazu (IGR), Mar del Plata (MDP), Mendoza (MDZ), Tucuman (TUC) and its first scheduled international service to Punta del Este (PDP) in Uruguay.  All points are primarily served from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP).

Andes' most important business has traditionally been charters, especially to summer destinations, for the student vacation market and for professional sports teams, markets which it is maintaining while it grows its scheduled network.    


Sunday, December 31, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas second 737 MAX 8, LV-GVE, arrived in Argentina at 4:57pm today

Aerolineas Argentinas' second 737 MAX 8, LV-GVE (c/n 64208/6717), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) at 4:57pm local time today on its delivery flight from Seattle's Boeing Field (BFI) via Punta Cana (PUJ), according to   

This aircraft is the second of 11 737 MAX 8's that Aerolineas has on order with at least the following three scheduled for delivery during 2018:

LV-HKU (c/n 44293/6753) 
LV-HKV (c/n 44294/6807)
LV-HKW (c/n 44296/XXXX) 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

ROUTE UPDATES: Aerolineas Argentinas introduced the 737 MAX 8 into service on 01Dec17; future route plans

Aerolineas Argentinas 737 MAX 8, LV-GVD (c/n 64207/6661), taxis in at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 15Dec17. (Phil Perry Photo)

Aerolineas Argentinas' first 737 MAX 8, LV-GVD (c/n 64207/6661), entered regular airline service on 01Dec17 when it operated a Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Mendoza (MDZ) round-trip service, eight days after arriving at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on its delivery flight on 23Nov17.  Aerolineas became the first Latin American airline to put the 737 MAX 8 into service. 

LV-GVD was officially presented to the press at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on 04Dec17 and reportedly operated numerous route-proving flights to several  Argentine domestic airports in late November, including Bariloche (BRC), Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Cordoba (COR), Iguazu (IGR), Mendoza (MDZ), Neuquen (NQN), Resistencia (RES), Rio Gallegos (RGL) and Salta (SLA).  

Aerolineas converted 11 of 20 737-800's ordered several years ago to 737 MAX 8's which will be delivered in the next 2-3 years.  The next four MAX 8's to be delivered, all expected in 2018 are:

LV-GVE (c/n 64208/6717) 
LV-HKU (c/n 44293/6753) 
LV-HKV (c/n 44294/6807)
LV-HKW (c/n 44296/XXXX) 

All of the aircraft are being leased from Aviation Capital Group.

According to Routes Online (via Eric Trum) initial routes for the 737 MAX 8 in December 2017 / January 2018 include:

eff 10Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Cordoba (COR)
eff 11Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Mendoza (MDZ)
eff 11Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Tucuman (TUC)
eff 17Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Neuquen (NQN)
eff 18Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Iguazu (IGR)
eff 30Dec17: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Salta (SLA)
eff 03Jan18: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Mar del Plata (MDQ)

Additional MAX 8 destinations are planned for mid-2018 including:

eff 02Jun18: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Rio Gallegos (RGL)
eff 03Jun18: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - Posadas (PSS)
eff 03Jun18: Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) - San Juan (UAQ)

These dates / destinations are subject to change plus has shown LV-GVD operating flights to Resistencia (RES) that is not on the above lists.

With its increased range over the the 737-800, the 737 MAX 8 is also expected to be deployed on routes from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and/or Cordoba (COR) non-stop to the Caribbean / Mexico with the most likely candidate destinations being Cancun (CUN) and Punta Cana (PUJ), currently served by Aerolineas A330's, which are apparently too large for demand on these routes.  Aerolineas' existing 737-800 fleet does not have the range to operate these services non-stop.        
Sources:|FGFG|FGABN-2017-1120-GLOB|news&sfid=70120000000taAf via Eric Trum

Friday, December 29, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS & FLEET UPDATE: Flybondi received its first 737-800 on 02Dec17

First 737-800

Flybondi's first 737-800, LV-HKS (c/n 33821/1698), arrived at Cordoba (COR) on 02Dec17 after a week-long journey from Singapore via Hanoi, Osaka, Petropavlovsk, Anchorage, Los Angeles and San Jose, Costa Rica. 

Since then, the aircraft has undergone numerous demonstration flights and promotional visits to several airports around Argentina, including Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 05Dec17 followed by Cordoba (COR), Bariloche (BRC), Neuquen(NQN), Jujuy (JUJ), Salta (SLA), Corrientes (CNQ), Iguazu (IGR) and Posadas (PSS) in recent weeks.

Air Operator Certificate 

Flybondi was expected to receive its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) in mid-December with the sale of tickets to follow soon thereafter on its planned initial routes; Cordoba (COR) to Bariloche (BRC), Iguazu (IGR) and Mendoza (MDZ), all expected to start in January.  

The Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) also plans to commence flights from the alternative Buenos Aires airport of El Palomar (EPA), just west of the city, in late January with flights between EPA and Cordoba (COR) tapping into the most heavily-traveled city pair in Argentina, Buenos Aires - Cordoba.    

El Palomar (EPA) - Low-Cost Carrier Airport

El Palomar (EPA) is an Argentine Air Force base which has only been used for airline flights once before in November 2010 when Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) closed for a few weeks due to runway work causing a few small airlines, such as Andes, BQB Lineas Aereas, PLUNA and Sol Lineas Aereas to move to EPA temporarily.  The facility is currently undergoing extensive work with the addition of ramp space and the construction of a new temporary terminal building.  Several air force hangars are undergoing modifications for use by civilian air carriers. 

Flybondi plans to have 10 737-800's in service by the end of 2018. 


Friday, November 24, 2017

FLEET UPDATE: Aerolineas Argentinas first 737 MAX 8 arrives in Argentina on 23Nov17

Aerolineas Argentinas first 737 MAX 8, LV-GVD (c/n 64207/6661), arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) on its delivery flight in the late afternoon of 23Nov17.  This is the first of five 737 MAX 8's to be delivered to the Argentine national airline in the coming months.

The MAX 8's were part of an earlier order by the carrier for 737-800's but they were converted to MAX 8's sometime during the last year or so.  All of the MAX 8's are being leased from Aviation Capital Group of Newport Beach, California, USA

Link to many photos of the aircraft at EZE after its arrival by the excellent blog Sir Chandler: 

Video of the arrival, also from Sir Chandler:


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Avianca Argentina started regularly scheduled service between Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Rosario service today 21Nov17

Avianca Argentina started regularly scheduled service this morning from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Rosario (ROS) becoming the first new Argentine airline to operate scheduled service in the country since Andes Lineas Aereas and Sol Lineas Aereas started flying in 2006 and the first new carrier to start up since the Argentine public route hearings that took place on 27Dec16. 

The carrier took delivery of two new ATR-72-600's, LV-GUG (c/n 1343) and LV-GUH (c/n 1395) on 13Jan17 and 11Mar17, respectively, which the airline had only used on charters until now, such as to the ski destination of Malargue (LGS) and numerous charters for sports teams. 

Flight A0 7100 took off today from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Rosario (ROS) at 08:06am, arriving back from that city at 10:47am.  The second daily rotation, flight A0 7108 took off from Aeroparque at 7:27pm.    

Video of the flight by the excellent blog Sir Chandler:

The carrier is slated to start its second scheduled service, which will be between Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Mar del Plata (MDQ), next week on 28Nov17.  


Sunday, November 5, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Avianca Argentina planning to receive 5 more ATR-72's by February plus 2 A320's in March

Avianca Argentina ATR-72-600, LV-GUH (c/n 1395), taking off from  Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) on 08Oct17, apparently on a press flight. (Phil Perry Photo) 

Avianca Argentina's start-up appears to be firmly on course with the airline selling tickets on its website for its first scheduled flights from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) to Rosario (ROS) and Mar del Plata (MDQ) on 21Nov17 and 28Nov17, respectively. 

Fleet Plans

Further plans are for the airline to receive three more factory-new ATR-72-600's in December, all of which have reportedly been painted in Avianca colors with at least one having made its first flight at ATR's manufacturing facility in Toulouse way back in July.  The hold up in delivery of the aircraft has apparently been due to the carrier waiting for the start of service to be authorized before bringing the planes to Argentina. 

Two more ATR-72-600's are scheduled for delivery in January and February for a total of seven ATR's (two were delivered earlier this year).  Two each will be based at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), Cordoba (COR) and Tucuman (TUC) with one more aircraft on reserve, probably in Cordoba (COR). 

The carrier will also take delivery of its first two A320's in March for flights to Brazil. 

Avianca originally ordered 12 ATR-72-600's for its Argentine affiliate but deliveries beyond the first seven ATR's and two A320's will depend largely on which routes develop well and how many of each aircraft are needed for its route system. 

Jetstreams Gone

Avianca Argentina no longer operates any of the Jetstreams that it acquired when it purchased the Air Operator Certificate of MacAir.  The editor of this blog has seen one or two of these Jetstreams at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) in recent months but they might have left Argentina by now or perhaps have joined the fleet of another Argentine company.

Aeroparque Hardstands

The north ramp area (adjacent to the north car parking lot) at Aeroparque has typically been used for parking up to a half-dozen aircraft at a time, such as business jets and MacAir Jetstreams, but will now also be used as hardstands for Avianca Argentina's ATR-72-600's.  

Labor Unions

Finally, one of the most important matters for all of the new Argentine carriers to resolve for their operations to be viable is reaching agreement with the labor unions.  Synergy Aerospace and Avianca Argentina President German Efromovich recently stated optimistically that "We are negotiating several labor contracts, we have preliminary agreements, and we are in the final stages of the negotiations."   


Friday, November 3, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Flybondi first 737-800 delayed, sporadic flights to start in December

Flybondi will apparently receive its first 737-800, LV-HKS (c/n 33821/1698), in late November, a little later than announced a few weeks ago.  The Low-Cost Carrier's second 737-800 will be delivered in December with eight more 800's due to join the fleet in 2018.  Eight aircraft will be based at El Palomar (EPA), just west of Buenos Aires, and two in Cordoba (COR).

Flybondi is planning to start service with a few special flights in December, presumably something along the lines of introducing the airline's routes and aircraft to the communities that it plans to fly to, followed by regularly-scheduled flights in January.  

The carrier's first announced routes seem to have varied considerably in recent weeks but several airports / combinations of airports have been consistently mentioned, such as Cordoba (COR) - El Palomar (EPA) and Bariloche (BRC), Iguazu (IGR) and Mendoza (MDZ).  

Flybondi plans to eventually have its own purpose-built private simple low-cost terminal at El Palomar (EPA) but will start service with improvised facilities until that time.  

The airline presently has 114 employees on its payroll with plans for 190 staff by year's end.             

Thursday, November 2, 2017

NEW AIRLINE PLANS: Flybondi's first 737-800 painted in company colors

Flybondi's first 737-800, LV-HKS (c/n 33821/1698), has been painted in the new company's full colors as seen in the following photo taken at Singapore-Seleta (XSP) on 30Oct17.  Note the addition of "La Libertad de Volar" (the freedom to fly) titles. via Eric Trum

Monday, October 30, 2017

PHOTO LINK: Aerolineas Argentinas first 737 MAX 8, LV-GVD, painted in company colors

Aerolineas Argentinas' first 737 MAX 8 has been painted in full company colors and is soon to start flight testing prior to delivery to the airline in mid-November with an expected arrival in Argentina in about three weeks' time.

Aerolineas will be the first carrier in Latin America to take delivery of  a 737 MAX series aircraft having converted some existing orders for the 737-800 to the MAX last year.  In addition to the first aircraft, LV-GVD (c/n 64207/6661), another example, LV-GVE (c/n 64208/ line number ?), is scheduled to be delivered to the Argentine state carrier in December with three more to follow in 2018.

Photo by Huy Do in Flickr:


Friday, October 27, 2017

Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) 1960 Terminal & North Parking Lot to be demolished for New Aircraft Parking Positions

With the imminent opening of the new control tower atop of Buenos Aires Aeroparque's Terminal A, the old control tower which is mounted on the old 1960 Terminal C (currently used only for offices) will be decommissioned making way for its demolition.  

The adjacent North Parking Lot will be closed, which together with the space cleared by the removal of the old terminal, will allow new ramp space to be constructed with parking positions for up to four aircraft.

In a previous posting from 06Jul17: AEP - Old Terminal + Parking Lot = New Ramp Space the editor of this blog reported that the existing Terminal B structure would be extended northwards with five new jetways once the parking lot closed (see diagram above) but it appears that there are no plans for any such construction in the near future.   

In addition, the military sector, which is currently southeast of the terminals will be relocated to make room for 2-3 more parking positions for commercial aircraft.