Last Friday, (12/20) Lan Argentina's (4M) tenth A320 arrived in Buenos Aires and was put into service with no further fuss. It is LV-BTM msn1548 ex CC-COK. Like all of 4M's aircraft, they are transferred from the mother ship, LA.
The previous weekend, a new MD-88 arrived in Buenos Aires for Austral, after a ferry flight from MEX with stops at CCS, VVI before landing at AEP. This is LV-BTI msn 49927 ex XA-AMT with AeroMexico. It will initially be operated with a hybrid scheme as it is needed right away.
As you may have also read, the Argentina National Assembly turned into law last week the purchase of AR's assets from Marsans for a symbolic 1 (one) peso - about US$ 0.30, as the company's net worth is negative, in spite of Marsans' claims otherwise. This is, in essence, a re-nationalization of the airline and of its subsidiary Austral, after 17-year stint (should we say horror movie?) in private hands, all Spanish, first Iberia and then the Marsans group.
There are a few formalities that need to be completed, legally, but, Boeing, wasting no time has been courting AR and the Argentina government since October. The latest and greatest that would see its way into AR's fleet are two 737-7BD ntu by AirTran.
36720 737-7BD airTran 19/05/2008 N348AT Stored
36721 737-7BD airTran 05/06/2008 N349AT Stored.
A good epitaph for Marsans role as the main culprit of AR's sad state of affairs was authored by Boeing Commercial Aircraft's Michael Barnett, Regional Director of Marketing - Latin America: "Under Marsans' Management Aerolíneas Argentinas was never the "Main Carrier" that it has always been, but just a feeder for Marsans Group's other airlines and products".
Source for the quote: El Aereo
[Edited 2008-12-22 17:53:12]