Start-up Aero Honduras to launch with Miami flights

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Central American private start-up carrier Aero Honduras is seeking to become the only Honduran airline to serve the USA by launching flights using Boeing 727-200 aircraft wet-leased from a US air carrier.

Established in early January, Aero Honduras is looking to launch services around June this year. It plans to operate scheduled flights between the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa and Miami, with some services will flying via the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula.

Under the US FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment scheme Honduras is classified as Category 2, meaning that it does not comply with ICAO recommendations. Because of this, Aero Honduras cannot use its own aircraft but instead must wet-lease its fleet from an ICAO-compliant country.

The carrier does not specifically identify the source of the aircraft but in an application to the US Department of Transportation for approval to serve the USA it lists several 727-200s under consideration which are currently owned by Pegasus Aviation and operated by US-based charter carrier Falcon Air Express.

Honduras has had an ‘open skies’ agreement with the USA in place since May 1997 but services between the two countries are currently operated only by US or third-party carriers including American Airlines, Iberia, Continental Airlines and the El Salvador-based TACA Group – although TACA includes a Honduran partner.

Aero Honduras is 96%-owned by its president, Ricardo Martinez. Its management team includes chief financial officer Mario Lopez and North American vice-president Richard Saumell.