LATAM Airlines is reconnecting Ecuador to Argentina via Peru after a 31-month route suspension due to COVID-19. The daily service will be provided by LATAM Ecuador and will begin on October 30.
LATAM Airlines Ecuador flight XL1450 will take off from Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) at 6:55 p.m., operated by an Airbus A319-100, and will arrive in Peru at Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) at 9:10 p.m. There is a 2.5 hour layover in Lima before re-boarding for the flight to Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport (EZE), arriving at 06:05 the next day. The return flight XL1449 leaves Buenos Aires at 7:15 a.m. and, after a 2:30 a.m. stopover in Lima, arrives in Quito at 2:48 p.m. According to ch-aviation.com, LATAM Ecuador has a fleet of six Airbus A319-100s, with an average age of 13.4 years. The A319s are configured in an all-economy configuration of 144 seats.
LATAM Ecuador increases its frequencies and adds new routes
LATAM Group is adding A320neos to its airlines, most recently to LATAM Brazil. Photo: Airbus
When the new service starts, LATAM Group will increase services between Buenos Aires and Lima from 21 to 28 weekly flights. LATAM Peru currently operates three daily flights on this leg of the route. Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism, as reported by aviacionline.com, reports that Argentina is one of the main sources of Latin American tourists to Ecuador. In 2019, 36,141 passengers arrived in Ecuador from Argentina.
A bilateral agreement on air services between Ecuador and Argentina envisages a limit of seven weekly frequencies per direction. The agreement has not changed since 2005 and allows the addition of seven more weekly services using fifth freedom rights, such as with stopovers in Santiago de Chile or Lima. The agreement also provides for flights that begin in the United States, Mexico or Panama and then continue to Argentina. LATAM Ecuador is part of the LATAM Airlines group, which owns airlines in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.
LATAM Group now has 100 A320neos on order
LATAM has confirmed that the A321XLR will join its fleet, part of an order from Farnborough Airshow for 17 more A320neo Family aircraft. Photo: Airbus
At the Farnborough Airshow last month, LATAM ordered 17 Airbus A321neos and confirmed it would introduce the A321XLR to its fleet, although it did not detail any timetable or aircraft numbers. LATAM Group now has 100 A320neos on order, to be delivered between 2022 and 2028, with long-haul A321XLRs likely to support international routes in Oceania, the United States and the Caribbean. The aircraft has a range of 4,700 nautical miles (7,400 kilometers) and a flight time of approximately eleven hours. The A321neo is the largest of the A320neo family, and its next-generation engines and Sharklets deliver more than 20% fuel and CO2 savings, as well as a 50% reduction in noise.
LATAM Ecuador has also filed a request with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation to modify its operating license for scheduled domestic air transport services for passengers, cargo and mail. The airline wants to add a total of 41 new frequencies, with the biggest increases on routes from Quito (UIO) to Cuenca (CUE), Guayaquil (GYE) and Bogota (BOG), Colombia. The domestic route between Quito and Cuenca’s Mariscal Lamar International Airport (CUE) is new and, if approved, LATAM Ecuador will operate services five times a week. The airline also wants to increase its services to Colombia’s Bogotá El Dorado International Airport, the second busiest in South America, from five to 14 weekly frequencies.
Will the route from Quito to Buenos Aires via Lima be popular? What do you think?