SFOMEX
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LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:19 am

I'm going to EZE next month and I've been checking around different options. LAB (Lloyd Aereo Boliviano) has a great deal flying in Business Class, almost half the price the next airline. Of course, it's not non-stop but I don't mind the stop over.

The issue is that they fly a 727 all the way to EZE, with one stop at VVI. I love 727, but I wonder about their comfort and safety in such a long flight. Besides, I'm not sure if Bolivia's political turmoil is affecting LAB.

What do you think guys? Would you take it?

[Edited 2005-06-04 04:43:08]
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TheRedBaron
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RE: LAB's 727... What You Think About Them?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:31 am

If you want to fly one of the longest in the tooth 727 in the world and probably the highest cicle 727 go LAB they have a 727-100 that has the record, they have very good MX, I wouldnt worry about it...anyways in SA there are very large parts without nav aids !
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ContnlEliteCMH
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RE: LAB's 727... What You Think About Them?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:36 am

How many cycles does it have?

Is there an online database where such stats may be found?
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AeroWesty
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RE: LAB's 727... What You Think About Them?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:38 am

I'd do it in a heartbeat. I think they've even fitted some of their 727's with winglets. Now that's something I'd pay to fly.
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fly727
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 12:06 pm

Quoting SFOMEX (Thread starter):
The issue is that they fly a 727 all the way to EZE, with one stop at VVI. I love 727, but I wonder about their comfort and safety in such a long flight

The 727 in a long flight is not really that different from any other single-aisle airliner either in Economy or Business. LAB's inflight service is warm, efficient but not over the top. You should have no problems whatsoever trying them. Maybe the only turndown is that the 727 do not have any in-flight entertainment of the newer generation airliners.

About the safety of your flight, LAB is certified by the FAA and other countries' civil aviation boards to provide maintenance services to one extend to its aircraft. They have professional technicians and have not had any accident in years (as a matter of fact I don't recall of any in the recent decades).

How fast you will get there? The 727 is actually a bit faster than all the other competitors in the route. Whereas the A320/737 family typicaly cruises at around Mach .76 (that's 76% of the speed of sound) the 727 do it in the low 80s. Some of LAB 727s are fitted with Dugan Air winglets which improves its performance out of hot and high airports, increases range and allows for greater take off weights (more passengers, cargo and even better, more fuel which means better range).

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 3):
I'd do it in a heartbeat. I think they've even fitted some of their 727's with winglets. Now that's something I'd pay to fly.

This month go to Vegas and get into Aviacsa's flight 893 to Mexico City. It is still operated by 727W and better yet, I have three of those scheduled this month!

RM  Smile
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LVZXV
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:24 pm

LAB's record-breaking 727 (CP-1223) is not currently flying. According to the site's most reliable (and I think only) Bolivian source, 123, the aircraft has been parked at its base of CBB (Cochabamba) for the past 6 weeks or so.

I'm not sure where you can find info with regards to CP-1223's total number of hours or cycles accumulated, but I can confirm that the aircraft is 40.5 years old, and was still flying on its 40th birthday on January 5 this year.

However, although no longer flying, I think Hewa Bora's 727 9Q-CRG became the first pax configured Boeing to complete four decades of service in February 2004, and was retired shortly thereafter. Still, with airliners facing the chop now as young as 11 or 12, it is quite remarkable to see any passenger aircraft living past the age of 30 these days (indeed, Northwest's DC-9s are no less impressive).

While the IFE may be somewhat lacking aboard LAB aircraft, the real exhilaration comes from the flying itself (seat pitch is generous too). Fly into LPB (La Paz) and rest assured, you'll have another tale for your grandchildren!

Saludos,

ZXV
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EddieDude
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:36 pm

SFOMEX, depending on the day of your departure/arrival, you can also fly the 767. It might be nice to schedule your trip so as to experience, for example, the 727 on your way to EZE (MEX-PTY-VVI-EZE) and the 767 on your way back from VVI to MEX. Just my 2 cents.
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rojo
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:39 pm

Quoting SFOMEX (Thread starter):
The issue is that they fly a 727 all the way to EZE, with one stop at VVI.

Actually, it is a two stops flight, routing MEX-PTY-VVI-EZE.
 
SFOMEX
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:04 am

Thanks for your input guys. I'm going to fly them, you can't beat their price in Business Class. In my book, a bigger pitch is far more important than a movie, so the lack of IFE is not a factor here.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 3):
I'd do it in a heartbeat. I think they've even fitted some of their 727's with winglets. Now that's something I'd pay to fly.

Gee, I was forgetting the winglets. I just checked some pics of their 727's and they look great.


Quoting Fly727 (Reply 4):
The 727 in a long flight is not really that different from any other single-aisle airliner either in Economy or Business. LAB's inflight service is warm, efficient but not over the top. You should have no problems whatsoever trying them. Maybe the only turndown is that the 727 do not have any in-flight entertainment of the newer generation airliners.

About the safety of your flight, LAB is certified by the FAA and other countries' civil aviation boards to provide maintenance services to one extend to its aircraft. They have professional technicians and have not had any accident in years (as a matter of fact I don't recall of any in the recent decades).

How fast you will get there? The 727 is actually a bit faster than all the other competitors in the route. Whereas the A320/737 family typicaly cruises at around Mach .76 (that's 76% of the speed of sound) the 727 do it in the low 80s. Some of LAB 727s are fitted with Dugan Air winglets which improves its performance out of hot and high airports, increases range and allows for greater take off weights (more passengers, cargo and even better, more fuel which means better range).

Great info Fly727, thanks! You're right, their safety record is quite good and it shouldn't stop anyone to fly them.

Quoting LVZXV (Reply 5):
Fly into LPB (La Paz) and rest assured, you'll have another tale for your grandchildren!

Sadly, this flight doesn't stop at LPB. It looks like VVI is by far the most important airport in the country,

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 6):
SFOMEX, depending on the day of your departure/arrival, you can also fly the 767. It might be nice to schedule your trip so as to experience, for example, the 727 on your way to EZE (MEX-PTY-VVI-EZE) and the 767 on your way back from VVI to MEX. Just my 2 cents.

Great idea EddieDude. I'll check it out. I hope the price remains the same regardless the aircraft.

Quoting Rojo (Reply 7):
Actually, it is a two stops flight, routing MEX-PTY-VVI-EZE.

I had the same idea, but look at this schedule:

Total : MXN 11,139.23

Vuelo LB 917 Lloyd Aereo Boliviano
Desde: México DF, México (MEX) 16/07, 11:45 PM
Hacia: Santa Cruz , Bolivia (VVI) 17/07, 9:10 AM
Clase: Bussines
Avión: BOEING 727 STRECH


Duración de la escala en Santa Cruz , Bolivia: 2 horas, 35 minutos
Vuelo LB 931 Lloyd Aereo Boliviano
Desde: Santa Cruz , Bolivia (VVI) 17/07, 11:45 AM
Hacia: Buenos Aires , Argentina (EZE) 17/07, 3:30 PM
Clase: Bussines
Avión: BOEING 727 STRECH



Vuelo LB 932 Lloyd Aereo Boliviano
Desde: Buenos Aires , Argentina (EZE) 23/07, 5:35 PM
Hacia: Santa Cruz , Bolivia (VVI) 23/07, 7:30 PM
Clase: Bussines
Avión: BOEING 767-300


Duración de la escala en Santa Cruz , Bolivia: 3 horas, 15 minutos
Vuelo LB 918 Lloyd Aereo Boliviano
Desde: Santa Cruz , Bolivia (VVI) 23/07, 10:45 PM
Hacia: México DF, México (MEX) 24/07, 4:45 AM
Clase: Bussines
Avión: BOEING 767-300

BTW, the price in Business Class is great, don't ya think?
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Orion737
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:13 am

What amazes me is the performance of the 727 at hot and high South American airports is better than that which could be achieved by a brand new A321!

Amazing that an aircraft 30-40 years old can outperform the latest technology!
 
LAXintl
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:18 am

Quoting LVZXV (Reply 5):
I'm not sure where you can find info with regards to CP-1223's total number of hours or cycles accumulated

Per Boeing reliability stats as of April 2005, CP-1223 had 75820hrs / 87916cycles.
Flight time wise somewhat low consider its a 40 year old aircraft. Many newer B727s including many -200A's have in excess of 80,000hours on them. Cycle wise however its quite high indicative of operating many short domestic hops.
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LVZXV
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:21 am

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 9):
What amazes me is the performance of the 727 at hot and high South American airports is better than that which could be achieved by a brand new A321!

Amazing that an aircraft 30-40 years old can outperform the latest technology!

A Classic never dies! Don't forget the Russian acronym KISS: Keep It Simple, Sutpid!

Regards,

ZXV
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rojo
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:41 am

Quoting SFOMEX (Reply 8):
I had the same idea, but look at this schedule:

Actually, flight 917 has a stop in PTY, since the B722 does not make it non-stop to VVI. Just do your calculations, flight time is 8:25 minutes from here to VVI, it is too much:

Lloyd Aereo Boliviano
Flight: 917
Departs: Mexico City (MEX) July 16 11:45 pm
Arrives: Santa Cruz (VVI) July 17 (Next day) 9:10 am
Notes:
Distance: 3529 mi
Stops: 1
Flight Time: 8:25
Boeing 727-200

They don't disclose the stop, since it is a technical stop, since LB no longer has fifth freedom rights on the MEX-PTY-MEX route. The B763 on the way back is non-stop.

By the way, you got a really good fare...
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:26 am

SFOMEX I hope you have time to make a trip report..!!  Smile

Have a good trip! (nice fare by the way! and...beware of getting neck ache in Argentina watching all those Girls!)

Bets regards
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UairFokker
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:07 pm

Try them! I used to fly on them always between EZE and PTY. The space inside will surprise you: HUGE! And very comfortable. The only negative point I have is the wait at Santa Cruz. When I flew them some years ago it was really long, and the airport boring.

There are usually millions of 727s there, take your camera.

Enjoy your trip!
 
LeoDF
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:48 pm

Hi!

Although I know this is a LAB 727 topic, AND I LOVE LAB but I have heard 2 complaints from friends that have flown from MEX.

The first complaint was about one year ago, when a friend travelled to EZE with LAB. If i recall well, the flight was going to be MEX-VVI-EZE. Instead the flight was MEX-PTY-VVI-EZE. Be careful with this. As Rojo says, flight times do not match and I can assure you, a 727 cannot make it nonstop to VVI from MEX. On the return flight, she told me the flight made 2 unscheduled stops (one at COLOMBIA????? and the other at PTY). PTY can be understood, but Colombia? I smell something bad in this flight.

Anyway, the second complaint came from another friend who travelled this past Easter vacations to Brazil with LAB. The flight to Brazil was delayed, but told me it was good. Can't remember exactly if it was on the "going to" or the "leaving from" flight but it also made an unscheduled stop at Colombia!!!

Now what the hell does this mean? Their schedules to MEX have never had a stopover at Colombia, so, I don't know what is LAB doing!!

But, as an enthusiast the more stopovers the better!! I've never flown on LAB, and FLY727 and Rojo know it is my dream to fly with them! By the way muchos saludos a uds!! So, I think if you like a little bit of adventure and would like to try a new airline LAB would be nice! At least, do it for me!! And please if you choose it, tell us all about it upon your return!

Saludos!!

A. De Leo
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757MDE
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:51 am

Quoting SFOMEX (Reply 8):
Sadly, this flight doesn't stop at LPB. It looks like VVI is by far the most important airport in the country,

Not only for the country zone (if I'm not wrong the Santa Cruz region is the richest of the country, so much that in the last turmoil some dudes wanted to independize from Bolivia!, maybe 123 will correct me if I'm wrong), but also because LPB is the highest Airport, and performance is quite decreased so most flights connect at VVI.

Quoting LeoDF (Reply 15):
Can't remember exactly if it was on the "going to" or the "leaving from" flight but it also made an unscheduled stop at Colombia!!!

That's weird, LAB's flights into Colombia land quiteee late (1 - 2am), maybe it was some sort of emergency?
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LX23
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:37 am

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 10):
Cycle wise however its quite high indicative of operating many short domestic hops

I've had the pleasure of flying 1223 a few times (most of them LPB-CBB-VVI) as well as 861 (and most of the rest of the LAB fleet)... They are usually used on the shorter routes.

SFOMEX:

Their 727s are well-maintained...it's a bit lacking in IFE, but the views you're likely to get in the last 50 minutes of your MEX-(PTY)-VVI flight (shame you don't stop at LPB) are breathtaking enough that IFE would be useless   VVI-EZE usually shows a 727, but has a 767 substituted in quite often (years ago, it used to be their A310). To be honest, and after more than 20 flights with them, I would recommend LAB to anyone.

Sure, they may not have the newest airplanes in the world, but in my experience, their lack of technology is more than made up for with great and friendly service. I would also recommend maybe trying to fit in a day or so in Bolivia (your best bet these days would be el Oriente, as the road from El Alto to La Paz is probably still cut off), a country that I feel is truly worth a visit.

Quoting SFOMEX (Reply 8):
Sadly, this flight doesn't stop at LPB. It looks like VVI is by far the most important airport in the country

As 757MDE explained, this mainly has to do with the fact that, at 3600m above sea level, LPB severly cuts into airliners' performances. Thus, most flights have to cycle through VVI in order to avoid capacity restrictions. Although 757MDE is right in that Santa Cruz and Tarija are the richer areas of Bolivia (large natural gas reserves), La Paz still remains the largest city in Bolivia, and also retains importance as the seat of government. Thus, there are a few flights that are operated straight out of LPB (to Peru, off the top of my head).

Either way, have a safe trip  Wink

[Edited 2005-06-06 03:38:43]
 
Mason
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RE: LAB's 727... What Do You Think About Them?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:37 pm

LAB is great, in flight. What may frustrate you are the check-in procedures, as they are outdated. Once on board, it is a great ride! I flew them from CUZ-LPB on a 727-100 a few weeks ago, and currently I am in La Paz. I am supposed to leave on Saturday, but all hell is breaking loose down here. I know AA has cancelled many of its flights MIA-LPB-VVI. Anyway, you will be pleasntly surprised with LAB, as it reminds me of flying in the states a few decades ago. Great experience. And, yes, VVI is by far the most important airport in the country. LPB is just too high to serve any market long distance. There is more money in VVI, and that is where all long haul flights depart from. Enjoy your trip!

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