Peru’s Government has ordered the suspension of Boeing 737 services by local carrier Aerocondor following concerns over safety at the airline.

The Lima-based carrier grounded its four 737-200s yesterday but claims it has taken the action because the rise in fuel prices is making the fleet uneconomical.

Peru’s ministry of transport and communications, however, states that it has instructed the carrier – through the civil aviation directorate – to suspend scheduled flights with the type after “repeated incidents”.

The ministry says the latest event occurred yesterday at Cajamarca Airport when a “serious problem” with one of Aerocondor’s 737s prevented the jet from taking off.

It adds that on 6 June another Aerocondor 737 suffered a problem at Pucallpa. It does not specify details but the ministry says the jet was prevented from completing its flight.

“The suspension does not include the rest of the company’s fleet,” says the ministry. “The company can continue with its charter flights and tourism operations.”

Aerocondor has stopped the services but does not mention the Government order. “Given the current economic climate generated by the hike in fuel prices, the company has seen a need to suspend temporarily all operations by the Boeing 737-200 fleet,” it says.

The decision means that, from today, it has been forced to stop operating flights to Pucallpa, Iquitos, Cuzco and Puerto Maldonado.

Three of Aerocondor’s 737s, two of which are 29 years old, are leased from Pegasus Aviation, while the other is owned by Aergo Capital, according to Flight’s ACAS database.

Aerocondor says it is committed to offering a reliable, quality service. The carrier states that it will continue operating flights with its British Aerospace 146 regional jet aircraft and its Fokker and Antonov turboprops.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: Flight International