That picture of Don Juan (Maggio) reveals him as the clown he is.
The LCC model won't work for Southern Winds. Here are some of the reasons:
-They are a disaster at present. Lowering their fares is a pure act of desperation, no different to the signing of the accord with state-backed LAFSA in 2003 to avert bankruptcy or the narcotrafficking they undertook in an effort to fund the procurement of the promised 737-300s and MD
-11s last year, which as we all know never arrived.
-Their route network is a mess at present. Many of their (8 remaining) national destinations are no longer direct, and some, such as Calafate (FTE) are now being served just once a week. Today one of A4
's planes was routed AEP
-SLA (Salta)--not necessarily bad but probably inconvenienced a great deal of passengers.
-The 30-year-old 737-200s that form A4
's entire domestic fleet are expensive to operate, and far from ideal for any LCC. The 2 737-200s that were due to join the fleet around now (former Lapa LV
-YZA and another from the US) will probably never materialise, and in the meantime, of the 7 currently pertaining to A4
, only 2 are kept flying. Rival American Falcon (WK) boasts 3 while AR
has something in the region of 30, not to mention competitive fares.
-The 767 is sitting in SCL
, grounded by GECAS, its future unknown (Euroatlantic were the operators, GECAS the lessor). There is a chance
it will be reincorporated, but for this the 747 would have to be returned. In addition, no more Jumbos are likely to join in the near future, as demand begins to contract sharply.
And I can tell you something else: load factors are poor. From MAD
a couple of weeks ago, I'd say that over 80% of Economy class passengers had 3 or 4 seats to themselves, while Surf was empty. When I went to stretch my legs in the middle of the night, almost everyone was "horizontal". Tonight the 747 left EZE
barely half-full to MAD
, and most of the passengers I saw checking-in had clearly booked through Air Europa (UX) instead of A4
. Until Southern Winds can restore public confidence, they would be better off operating the 767 instead of the loss-making Jumbo.
have NO reason to worry about A4
. American Falcon is under control, as they allow AR
the use of their F28 in return for the maintenance of their 737s and the covering of many operating costs. Not sure when the last time was that AR
had this little competition, but I'd hazard a guess that it was upwards of 15 years ago.
I think it is still FAR
too soon to be optimistic about Southern Winds. I don't see LAN supporting them beyond the 90 days they have committed too, especially if LAFSA keep telling them to get stuffed. For those unaware as to why LAFSA employees are so against a takeover by LAN, it is simply because most if not all of them will be fired, as they would actually have to work for their jobs instead of being dished-out 4,000USD a month for doing nothing. LAFSA is heavily unionised and on the whole--excuse the sweep--lazy, so give me or give them one good reason for LAN to hire them.
As one who flew on Southern Winds a fortnight ago and who has to fly on them again in 10 days, take it from me, AVOID THEM!!!