MIAMI, Florida–When the Avianca Airbus landed last January 13th in Miami International Airport, more than half a century (64 years to be exact) of air history came to an end. Finally LACSA Airlines in no more. When in 2009 Avianca and TACA Airlines decided to merge, the latter’s Costa Rican hub (once developed by LACSA Airlines since the 1980s) run the chance of being shut versus TACA’s El Salvador and Lima hubs and of course Avianca’s at El Dorado in Bogota. LACSA’s San Jose hub was developed since 1979 when the then Costa Rican flag carrier expanded its service to New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando and Toronto in North America and Bogota, Lima, Quito, Guayaquil, Rio, Sao Paulo in South America. At that time LACSA’s slogan was: “Uniendo las Tres Americas” (Uniting the three Americas). Now Costa Ricans travelling to South America should use Avianca’s Bogota hub and for North America, the hub at El Salvador International Airport. Everybody hopes the vaccum left by Avianca would be filled up by the new Costa Rican airline Ticos Air that is expected to start flights on the first semester of 2014 with Airbus A-319s to cities like Miami, Los Angeles and New York.
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.”
TOLOUSE, France. — On March 21st TAM’s first Airbus A-320 with “Sharklets” took off from Toulouse Blagnac for try out flights. Once the airplane is painted in TAM’s full livery, it will be registered as PR-MYY. The Brazilian carrier will be the second Latin American airline to fly the Airbus “Sharklet”. Colombian flag carrier AVIANCA was the first one to operate the new airliner.
BOGOTA, Colombia. — Avianca, the Colombia-based airline, has taken delivery of its first Sharklet equipped Airbus A-320 becoming the first Latin American carrier to take benefit of the new fuel-saving wing-tip devices. The A-320, powered by CFM engines, was delivered in Toulouse, France. Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A-320 Family aircraft and allow Airbus’ airline customers to reduce fuel burn by up to four per cent and CO2 emissions by approximately 1,000 tons per aircraft and year. Sharklets offer operators the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms. “With the delivery of this new aircraft equipped with Sharklets, Avianca advances the process of modernizing its fleet, while improving efficiency, reducing fuel burn and increasing range,” said Fabio Villegas, CEO of Avianca. “With the Sharklets, Avianca will be the first airline in the region to benefit from much lower operating costs,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “In addition, Avianca’s passengers can fly assured that they are travelling on board the world’s most eco-efficient single aisle aircraft.” Avianca currently operates 98 A-320 Family aircraft, and has 70 on order with the option to be Sharklet equipped. Sharklets are standard on all members of the A-320neo Family. In 2012, Avianca placed an order for 33 eco-efficient A-320neo aircraft along with 18 incremental A-320ceos. With nearly an all-Airbus fleet, Avianca & TACA has purchased 190 aircraft and has a backlog of 72 Airbus aircraft. The A-320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, over 9,100 aircraft have been ordered and over 5,400 delivered to more than 380 customers and operators worldwide. Airbus has sold more than 750 aircraft throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and currently holds a backlog that exceeds 370.
MEDELLIN, Colombia. — The companies Irelandia, IAMSA, Grupo Bolivar and Grupo FAST founded in 2009 the low cost carrier Viva Colombia. On May 25th, 2012 the airline started its operation with one Airbus A-320. Today the airline operates 5 Airbuses to nine destinations within Colombia. It is expected the airline to start international flights to Central, South America and some cities in the southern United States.