Argentinian regional carrier Southern Winds plans to begin international services from its Cordoba base to Miami, Florida, by year-end pending government approval due in late June.

Southern Winds general manager Christian Maggio says negotiations are under way with lessors for suitable widebody aircraft. "The Boeing 777-200 is a good possibility, though we are also looking at the 767-300ER and Airbus A330-200," he says. The airline is discussing starting services with two long-haul aircraft that would feed its growing hub operations at Cordoba.


Southern Winds operates 120 flights a day to 20 destinations using a fleet of six Bombardier CRJ100/200 regional jets and six Bombardier Dash 8s. The regional fleet is also scheduled for growth, and talks are underway with Bombardier to secure early delivery slots of 70-seat CRJ700s. "We need at least 10 more regional jets," says Maggio who adds flights are averaging around the 70% load factor mark. "We are definitely making money," he says.

Pending formal approval of its Miami-service plan, for which technical approval has already been granted, Southern Winds also intends to begin flights to Bolivia, Brazil and Chile. Other local carriers planning or applying for extended international service rights under Argentina's new open skies policy include Dinar and financially-troubled LAPA.

Source: Flight International