A new Argentinean domestic carrier is being prepared for launch by former head of Aerolineas Argentinas, Antonio Mata.

AirPampas is expected to start flying by December using a fleet of Boeing MD-80s after receiving an operating permit this month from Argentina’s transport ministry.

Aimed at wresting a significant slice of Aerolineas Argentinas/Austral’s 85% share of the domestic market, AirPampas is expected to follow the low-cost formula employed by European and US carriers.

Mata has reportedly signed a leasing deal with American Airlines for AirPampas’s initial fleet. The airline will start scheduled services with three MD-82s, the fleet increasing to 10 by late 2008 and rising to 25 MD-82/MD-83s by the end of 2009. The decision to opt for MD-80 series aircraft is not only linked to financial considerations, but their ready availability and large flight and cabin crew pool in Argentina.

Bidding to serve 26 domestic destinations, Mata says AirPampas’s initial network will link Buenos Aires with Bariloche, Calafate, Cordoba, and Mendoza, considered among the most profitable Argentine destinations.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: FlightGlobal.com