AP001
Topic Author
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 12:49 am

Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 6:31 am

Hi everyone,

These last days, it has been said that Aero Continente could start flying again. The airline apparently put some adds in local newspapers to hire staff. Although the airline is grounded since October 28th 2004, its owner Fernando Zevallos says he's ready to relaunch flights.

What do you guys think ? Could this really happen or is it just "nice talking" ?

Philippe
 
worldxplorer
Posts: 360
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:12 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 6:46 am

Something better happen somewhere because Peru is hurting domestically. There just isn't enough capacity. I flew LIM-IQT-LIM on Aero Continente in December of 2003, their service was OK, but the aircraft looked horrible. There were rows of seats on a 737-200 that were not bolted to the floor properly and were sliding back and forth. Quite an experience! If they come back I hope they improve!

What ever happened the Peruvian governments issues with LAN operating domestically. IIRC since LA was not Peruvian owned they could not operate domestic service in Peru and had to suspend operations briefly. I know they are flying again how did that resolve??

WorldXplorer
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 6:51 am

Who is flying now??

When I flew Lima-Cuzco some years back (on the inaugural Lan Peru flight, as it happens!) I was stunned to see flights to Cuzco leaving at the same time from Aero Continente, TansPeru and TACA as well. 4 airlines with flights leaving within 30mins of each other!!!
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1059
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RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 10:32 am

The various airlines had flights at the same time because there is limited time to fly into Cuzco. I think it is due to winds or temperature or smething due to the altitude. You will notice there are no flights outside these times.
 
OB1504
Posts: 2985
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RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 10:56 am

Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 3):
The various airlines had flights at the same time because there is limited time to fly into Cuzco. I think it is due to winds or temperature or smething due to the altitude. You will notice there are no flights outside these times.

I think it's because the airport's only allowed to handle flights during the day, and during the afternoon it gets warmer, which may reduce the takeoff performance of some 'planes, so it becomes more convinient to send flights during the day.
 
AP001
Topic Author
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 12:49 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 8:15 pm

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 4):
I think it's because the airport's only allowed to handle flights during the day, and during the afternoon it gets warmer, which may reduce the takeoff performance of some 'planes

Because of it's particular geographical situation, operations at Cuzco are only possible during daylight. Due to the altitude of the airport (approximately 10'000ft), it is effectively safer to operate in the morning, although LAN Peru also operates in the afternoon because of the better performance of its A320's (compared to Aero Continente's B727-100 !)

Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 3):
I think it is due to winds

I have been told that wind is augmenting in the afternoon, making landings and/or takeoffs more difficult.

To come back to the initial subject of this thread, I personally think that Mr. Zevallos is bluffing. Although he might financially have the potential to relaunch the airline, the government (pressed by the Americans), will make everything possible to impeach this to happen.

I must admit that Aero Continente did not offer the best service, nor had the safest aircrafts, but I love aviation and I loved to see (and fly!) those great old B727's !

Cheers !

Philippe
 
miaskies
Posts: 1231
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RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 8:59 pm

Well considering anything and everything having to do with "Aero Continente" is in the U.S. "OFAC" list, I do not see them flying to the U.S. anytime soon.

Head's Up: Any American Citizen caught flying in Aero Continente before they are removed from this list faces federal charges.

OFAC = Office of Foreign Assets Control; basically this sector provides a list "People you cannot do business with"
Nothing better than making love at 35K Feet!
 
AP001
Topic Author
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 12:49 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 9:31 pm

Quoting MIASkies (Reply 6):
I do not see them flying to the U.S. anytime soon.

I agree with you on this point, international flights to the U.S. will certainly not be possible. I was more thinking about domestic operations within Peru.
 
OB1783P
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:49 pm

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 9:56 pm

Quoting AP001 (Reply 5):
I must admit that Aero Continente did not offer the best service, nor had the safest aircrafts...

Well, they never lost one aircraft, and they whisked me personally from the CUZ-LIM to the LIM-IQT in two minutes without going inside the terminal (they had ticketed me with a 30 min connection, which turned into a zero min connection).

I was so impressed that when I came back and joined a-net, I used the plane registration as my ID.

So I'm very sentimental about Aerocontinente, skinplates, mismatched seats and all...
I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
 
AirbusA6
Posts: 1484
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 5:53 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 10:10 pm

Yes, I recall on the 727-100 I flew on from Lima to Arequipa (my first and possibly only ever 727 flight) in Dec 03, I recall one seat that was completely different from the rest - it was a lot taller, a good 6 inches higher! Got me quite jealous  Silly
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
LVZXV
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RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Tue May 17, 2005 10:16 pm

Quoting OB1783P (Reply 8):
Well, they never lost one aircraft,

Although not widely known, they lost a 737-200 in December 2003:

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20031213-0

Their 757 and 767s were returned to their lessors last year, leaving a (potentially) operational fleet of maybe 8 737-200s, 4 727-100s and a couple of F28-1000s. Not sure if any of these aircraft are in good condition, however.

Saludos,

ZXV
How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
 
AP001
Topic Author
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 12:49 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Wed May 18, 2005 12:47 am

About punctuality, I have nothing bad to say. All my flights were ontime except one (1 hour delay on a flight from Lima to Tumbes).

Quoting LVZXV (Reply 10):
Their 757 and 767s were returned to their lessors last year, leaving a (potentially) operational fleet of maybe 8 737-200s, 4 727-100s and a couple of F28-1000s. Not sure if any of these aircraft are in good condition, however.

The recruitment add said they were looking for staff to work on these models of aircraft, which by the way were the models in use before the October 2004 grounding.

Quoting LVZXV (Reply 10):
they lost a 737-200 in December 2003

The aircraft belly-landed. Luckily, no human losses. Not any human loss in N6's history.
 
FLY2LIM
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Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 6:01 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Wed May 18, 2005 2:46 am

Quoting AP001 (Reply 11):
The recruitment add said they were looking for staff to work on these models of aircraft, which by the way were the models in use before the October 2004 grounding.

If you know anything about business in Peru, you'll know that this could all be just someone's ego at work. First, the Zevallos family is still in big trouble in Peru in regards to their N6 operations. Second, the airline was (supposedly) sold or handed over to new management and changed to Nuevo Continente. So, who owns the planes? Who owns the routes? Who owns the company? In addition, most planes are sitting at Jorge Chavez in various states of disrepair, some without engines or key avionics, from what I hear. So it's all up in the air. One thing that's for certain is the fact that they'll fly the oldest, cheapest (to lease) aircraft available. I wouldn't be surprised to see more 727s grazing the skies over Peru.
Despite their "clean" safety record, there has always been questions about N6's maintenance and the upkeep of their planes.
FLY2LIM
Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
 
TANS
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:46 pm

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Wed May 18, 2005 3:43 am

Although it would be very nice for Aero Continente to start flying again, it is very unlikely to happen. Fernando Zevallos was (and I believe still is) on the U.S. list of top drug traffickers in the world and, as MIASkies mentioned, he cannot do business with or in the USA. All of his bank accounts were frozen and his properties seized by authorities. This was one of the main reasons for Aerocontinente’s collapse as their British insurance company was not willing to do business with a company controlled by such a man.

The Zevallos family always claimed that Fernando was not the one directly running the company. His sister, Lupe, was the public face, the one always protesting with the Peruvian flag in hand. Besides being accused of transporting cocaine aboard N6 commercial flights (several planes were impounded in Chile on this basis) his starting capital for the airline came from, let’s say, suspicious sources.

The journalists Sally Bowen and Jane Sullivan dared to write that in his beginnings, while operating an “aero-taxi” company in the jungle city of Pucallpa, his main line of business was the transport of the white powder to Lima and abroad. He acquired a respectable number of Cessna planes and was, clearly, aiming higher. Today, he is suing the two women for their article.

During its relatively short history, Aero Continente always had an aggressive pricing policy, which definitely got them more enemies than friends. After the confiscation of the planes in Chile, many Peruvians were convinced that LAN was somehow connected to the action. Obviously, they had to save money somewhere, so the planes were old, interiors disgusting and safety was not taken too seriously.

Even before the events of 2004, the American embassy in Lima, together with several European ones, warned travelers not to fly N6. Several Peruvian undercover reporters proved that the company was not servicing the planes according to plan, they weren’t changing tires and were sticking stuff with Scotch tape. Their planes were having numerous technical difficulties and were almost always delayed.

From personal experience, the company was typically Peruvian. The staff were very kind, they would do everything do help you. Sometimes, everything would work out fine and the flight would be great. More frequently, though, there would be some problem with the plane, N6 would refuse to pay for accommodation and leave loads of people stranded…

I am very sorry for the flight attendants and pilots that will sign up to work with Zevallos and Co., because they can only end up disappointed. Peru needs another airline, but definitely not from this man…

[Edited 2005-05-17 20:50:15]
 
worldxplorer
Posts: 360
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:12 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Wed May 18, 2005 4:19 am

TANS, great post! Welcome to a.net!

WorldXplorer
 
AP001
Topic Author
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 12:49 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Wed May 18, 2005 5:23 am

Thanks, FLY2LIM and TANS for your very interesting comments. It seems pretty clear that there are little chances for N6 to fly ever again, which, as regard to your opinions, isn't a bad thing.

Let's say that from a commercial point of view, a modern airline with new A320 or 737NG equipment is certainly the best for the passengers, their comfort and security.

So, ideally, what about something in between this and N6, like a new airline that would have some nice 727's or 732's in perfect state ?  Smile Maybe too good to be true...
 
FLY2LIM
Posts: 1095
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 6:01 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Wed May 18, 2005 2:19 pm

Quoting AP001 (Reply 15):
Thanks, FLY2LIM and TANS for your very interesting comments. It seems pretty clear that there are little chances for N6 to fly ever again, which, as regard to your opinions, isn't a bad thing.

You are welcome. One thing about N6 is that it was run "a la peruana" or, in other words, "peruvian style". I am proud to be a peruvian by birth but some of the attitudes of the culture drive me nuts. Not being punctual is something that is in every peruvian's blood.
Of course, another thing about Peru's society is that corruption rules the business world so it would not be totally shocking to see Zevallos back in business some day.

Quoting AP001 (Reply 15):
Let's say that from a commercial point of view, a modern airline with new A320 or 737NG equipment is certainly the best for the passengers, their comfort and security.

See Lan Peru and TACA. It's pretty hard to make money with an old, tattered 727 when you have beautiful Airbus aircraft operating with efficiency and comfort in Peru.

Quoting AP001 (Reply 15):
So, ideally, what about something in between this and N6, like a new airline that would have some nice 727's or 732's in perfect state ? Maybe too good to be true...

It would be too good to be true. I have never flown in a peruvian airliner that was in "perfect state". AeroPeru's planes were falling apart. So were Faucett's. I never flew N6 but their condition is well documented. I have also heard plenty about TANS. I know nothing about STAR Up (whatever they are called today) but I can't imagine they are spending too much money on a 732.
So, it's business as usual for the peruvian skies, only now there are a couple of serious operators.

FLY2LIM
Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
 
LVZXV
Posts: 1729
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:03 am

RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Wed May 18, 2005 7:23 pm

I've always wondered how Peru can be so inept at producing (and running) a decent airline, while across the border, in South America's poorest country, you have a gem like LAB. And to add insult to injury, AeroSur are not too bad either. How can that be in a country that has experienced more presidents than it has years of independence?

Saludos,

ZXV
How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
 
TANS
Posts: 83
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RE: Aero Continente To Relaunch Operations?

Wed May 18, 2005 11:16 pm

FLY2LIM, I have to say it is refreshing that someone born in Peru will admit that some things are not working as they should in that great country. What I saw as the biggest problem in Lima (specifically with airlines) was that when anything went wrong, someone else was to blame, not Peruvians. Be it Mexicans or Chileans, they were the ones that sank the "flag" carriers, but never the local managers.

In reference to TANS, one flight with them influenced me so much I just had to use them as a username... Although I landed safely on both trips, the flights were unforgettable.

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