Bolivia’s BoA confirms international expansion plans

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State-owned Bolivian start-up Boliviana de Aviación (BoA) is to serve Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Lima as its first international destinations next year.

A source at BoA's Cochabamba headquarters says: "As soon as the airline receives its third Boeing 737-300, it will start serving one of the three selected routes." The most likely initial non-domestic service is identified as Sao Paulo, served from Santa Cruz, with direct connections from La Paz and Cochabamba.

While this route will be launched in December, the other two routes "will be added in early 2010", with the arrival of additional aircraft.

The source also says that BoA has been completing its domestic network launching flights to Tarija and Suce, with flights to Cobija, in Northern Bolivia, to follow later this month.

He could not identify the source of the aircraft expected for December, but he says that it is "undergoing heavy maintenance in Germany".

BoA was created in 2008 and started operations earlier this year as a state-owned alternative to the de-facto domestic monopoly of privately-owned Aerosur, after former flag carrier Lloyd Aereo Boliviano had entered bankruptcy in 2007.

It had predicted the operation of five aircraft by the end of the year, indicating that the airline's expansion plans have been scaled back.