CARACAS, Venezuela–Air Canada says it has suspended its flights to and from Venezuela due to civil unrest. In a statement posted on its website Monday, the airline says it can no longer ensure the safety of its operation in Venezuela, which has been roiled by daily street protests over crime and a deteriorating economy for more than a month. The airline’s last flight left Caracas on Sunday. It is offering refunds to those who have purchased tickets for flights after that. Foreign airlines have struggled under a $3.3 billion debt owed by the Venezuelan government. President Nicolas Maduro said Friday any airline that reduced or suspended flights in and out of Venezuela would face severe measures. He said any airline that leaves won’t be allowed back while he is in power. Avianca will cancel flights bewteen San Jose, Costa Rica and Caracas by April 7th. Also the Colombian flag carrier will reduce frequencies between Bogota and Lima and the Venezuelan capital.
QUITO, Ecuador–Ecuadorian flag carrier TAME has informed that in April, it will start Quito-Fort Lauderdale-Quito flights. This will be the second U.S. gateway for TAME (the airline already operates to New York-JFK). Fernando Guerrero, the General Manager of the airline is revamping its schedule, hoping to convert Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport in a connecting hub. The flights from Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Lima will easily connect in Quito to New York-JFK, Fort Lauderdale and Havana, Cuba. The airline also analyzes if to suspend its flights to Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport for six months as load factors are around 50%. Also TAME has a code sharing agreement with the Panamanian airline COPA Airlines. Guerrero is planning to adjust TAME’s actual structure to the growth the airline has had in the last years, becoming the most important carrier of the country. At the moment more international routes are just in planning analysis like Quito-San Jose, Costa Rica. Last May Avianca’s TACA Airlines suspended its operations connecting the Ecuadorian capital with San Jose opening the opportunity for TAME’s operation to the Costa Rican capital.
MIAMI, Florida–In 2009, a professional group of airline managers acquired the intellectual property of Eastern Airlines to develop a new business plan and financing plan to re-launch the airline. The team put together a plan to re-launch Eastern to be based at Miami International Airport. It quickly established working relationships with strategic partners including the Miami Airport Authority, Amadeus and Airbus. Eastern’s relationship with Amadeus dates back to Eastern’s reservation system, called System One. This system was eventually sold by Eastern Airlines and later became the core of the Amadeus system. Eastern Airlines also has a special and unique relationship with Airbus dating to 1972, when Eastern Airlines became the launch airline customer for the Airbus A-300. The team developed a multi-level business and financing plan that is being used to raise the capital required for Eastern Airlines to certify under FAA Regulation Part 121. That work has commenced, led by one of the industry’s leading certification consultants, Locked On. Today, the new Eastern Airlines is working with various industry-leading aircraft leasing companies to assemble a fleet of A-319s and A-320s aircraft. In addition, Eastern Airlines has moved into its headquarters office space at Building 5A at Miami International Airport, which was the former “Eastern Operations Center”, a four story building at the corner of Le Jeune Road and 36th Street, and which once housed all of Eastern’s system control and maintenance control centers, and other operating units. The new Eastern Airlines is expected to operate flights from Miami International Airport to the Caribbean and Central and South America.
MEDELLIN,Colombia–Low Cost Carrier VIVA COLOMBIA will start international services in 2014. The airline plans to service Panama City, Mexico City and Cancun from its base at Medellin International Airport. The information was provided by Declan Ryan, the son of the founder of Ryan Air and cofounder of the Colombian LCC. VIVA COLOMBIA has become one of the most important airlines in Colombia, offering a excellent domestic fares within the country. Colombia’s domestic flights have been in control of Avianca, Copa Colombia (former AeroRepublica) and LAN Colombia (former Aires). Future international services from Medellin include Costa Rica and Peru.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) announced new daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in Lima, subject to receipt of government operating authority. The flight will start on November 21st, 2013. Lima will be JetBlue’s 81st BlueCity and its fourth destination in South America. Sale fares for U.S.-originating flights to Lima are available today and until May 3rd, 2013, at www.jetblue.com/new for as low as $139 one-way from Fort Lauderdale and $199 one-way from the New York Metros and Boston, for travel between November 21st and December 19th, 2013. “JetBlue’s low fares and award-winning service have worked very well between Florida and Latin America,” said Scott Laurence, vice president of network planning for JetBlue Airways. “With Lima, our first destination in Peru and the southernmost destination in the network, we are confident in our penetration of South America. When you look at Lima’s wonderful offerings, including its rich culture, cuisine and great people, we believe both Florida and Lima residents will benefit greatly from the flight, whether visiting friends and relatives, vacationing or on business.”