Paraguayan bus company moves closer to launching a new airline

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The Paraguayan bus company Sol del Paraguay has confirmed plans to launch a new Asuncion based airline using the same brand.

A Sol del Paraguay source says that the airline "is in an advanced stage of its certification process at DINAC [Paraguayan CAA]", and that the company's first aircraft, a Fokker 100, has already been painted in Sol's livery and will be formally presented next week.

However, he could not indicate a concrete launch date for scheduled passenger operations, but he says that the airline "will operate in its first phase a fleet of five Fokker F100 jets".

The route network will include flights from Asuncion to Buenos Aires in Argentina, Santa Cruz in Bolivia, Montevideo in Uruguay and Sao Paulo and Curitiba in Brazil. Buenos Aires and Curitiba are likely to be the first routes to be operated by the new airline.

Sol del Paraguay currently operates bus routes to several destinations in Argentina and Brazil, including Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.

Sol del Paraguay will compete head-to-head with TAM Mercosur, the Paraguayan subsidiary of Brazil's TAM, which has several Airbus A320 aircraft stationed in Asuncion.