Ecuatoriana Airlines will be the second stint of the once state carrier Ecuatoriana de Aviación in Ecuador. The new operator is working towards the launch of flights later in the year, and it is already planning to operate with six Dash 8 aircraft.
What do we know about Ecuatoriana Airlines?
Eduardo Delgado, the Ecuatoriana Airlines CEO, recently said that the new carrier expects to operate with six Q-Series aircraft. It will use Q400 airplanes, with a passenger capacity for 76, and Q200, for 37 passengers, said Delgado.
In an interview with El Universo, Delgado said that all these airplanes will be leased. The company is investing USD$20 million in 2021 to assemble the required infrastructure for operating an airline.
Ecuatoriana is aiming to strengthen the domestic connectivity in the country. Last year, it requested the Ecuadorian State for permission to operate 29 routes from seven cities. It plans to run from Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Santa Rosa, Esmeralda, Manta, and Loja.
Ecuatoriana would have 11 routes from Quito with up to 68 frequencies per week. It would have four routes from Guayaquil, three from Cuenca, three from Esmeralda, three from Manta, three from Loja, and two from Santa Rosa. Eventually, the airline also wants to operate flights to the Galapagos Islands.
Due to Ecuador’s relatively compressed geography, Eduardo Delgado believes that the Q-Series is the perfect aircraft for the market. He said the following in the interview with El Universo,
“The Ecuadorian unfortunately got used to travel in a commercial jet, but this is very expensive. That cost is enforced on the passenger, and that’s why there are elevated fares in the country.”
¡Bienvenidos al #ClubdeFundadores de #EcuatorianaAirlines! Aquí podrás, muy pronto, obtener grandes y exclusivos beneficios en nuestra aerolínea. Todos los detalles aquí 👇, pero no olvides de compartirlo con tus amigos 😉 los cupos serán limitados https://t.co/hHD207nMJj pic.twitter.com/KroRzi2SPz
— Ecuatoriana Airlines (@EcuatorianaAir1) February 11, 2021
What can we expect in the following weeks?
The airline is still in the process of obtaining its Air Operator Certificate (AOC). According to a statement seen by Simple Flying, Ecuatoriana should receive it by June 2021.
Plus, the management team is expected to begin the hiring process in late April, it added.
The flight crew training would begin in May, and Ecuatoriana Airlines would be ready to start flying in July 2021. The routes it will start flying on are still to be announced; nevertheless, Eduardo Delgado expects the first flight will depart from Guayaquil.
The new airline is working on its corporate identity, logo, and branding. It is also visiting local municipalities, speaking with government authorities and chambers, updating on the progress of Ecuatoriana.
The market available in Ecuador
In 2020, the Ecuatorian government ceased operations of TAME Ecuador, the State carrier. This decision left the market with two leading operators only: Avianca and LATAM. Nevertheless, both are under Chapter 11 bankruptcies and decreasing their operations.
In January, Avianca resumed almost 100 routes in Colombia, El Salvador, and Ecuador. Its operations in Ecuador were the smallest. Avianca had five domestic routes in Ecuador, operating 20 weekly flights and offering 2,655 seats.
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Meanwhile, LATAM is currently operating at a 26% capacity, compared to February 2020. It is flying on six domestic routes, having 16 daily flights and three international routes.
For Eduardo Delgado, the current landscape offers a unique opportunity. He said,
“(Ecuatoriana) will be a hybrid between low-cost and full-service carrier. (…) Our fares will be low. From what we’ve talked about, the price range on certain routes will be between 50 and 65 dollars.”
Are you excited about Ecuatoriana Airlines? Let us know in the comments.