SAERO airline to being Galapagos Inter-Island flights

April 11, 2012 § 1 Comment

Ecuadorian Airline SAERO S.A. has announced they are to begin inter-islands service within the Galapagos Islands.  There are currently three airports in the Galapagos the largest on the island of Baltra, one on the island of San Cristobal and a third which is exclusively used for inter-island flights on the island of Isabela.  Travel between these islands is currently limited to either a fiberglass speed boat or EMETEBEE airlines which operates 7 and 9 passenger Britten-Norman 2 Islander planes.

SAERO which currently offers flights within Ecuador and to the beaches of Northern Peru has a fleet that includes a Turbo Commander 840, Helicopter, BeechCraft 1900 Embraer 120 and Leer Jet.    SAERO’s entry into the Galapagos inter-island market will make more options available and it more convenient for travelers who wish to travel between the islands by plane.


LAN announces new destinations with the Visit South America Pass

April 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

LAN has released a new destination within the South American Airpass program: Colombia.  Passengers may, through, select a flight of entry into the continent, to design an itinerary of at least three destinations in the region and take advantage of rates of the company, and now has chosen Colombia between their countries.

The Galapagos Islands , Machu Picchu, Iguazu, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert and now all the wonders of Colombia, are available to program users LAN.

Colombia has become the eighth largest network of destinations available in the South American Airpass. Bogota, Cali, Cartagena or San Andres Island are already available to the traveler with the South American Airpass.

LAN continues offering, under the South American Airpass, his classic “recommended circuits” which proposed routes for all tastes:

–  “Galapagos and Machu Picchu.” Quito-Galapagos-Islands-Guayaquil-Lima-Cusco.

– “Inca Trail and Lake Titicaca.” Lima-Cuzco-Juliaca-Lima.

– “Wonders of South America.” Lima-Cusco-Lima-Iguazu Falls-Lima.

– “Urban America.” Quito-Lima-Buenos Aires-Santiago de Chile.

– “Cultures enigmatic.” Santiago-Easter Island-Santiago-Calama-Santiago de Chile.

-“Food and wine”. Lima-Buenos Aires-Mendoza-Santiago de Chile.

The company offers users the best South American Airpass travel conditions, allowing earn 100% of the mileage in their frequent flyer program LANPASS and applying the more lenient baggage rate of transoceanic flights.

2012 Marks Big Changes to Airlines in Ecuador

February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

From El Commerical

2012 is shaping up as a transition year for the national aviation industry in Ecuador, after the rule change since last January.

The starting point was the elimination of air fuel subsidy.  Companies started to pay the real value of fuel, which now fluctuates with the price of a barrel of crude.  Airlines were previously paying $ 1.24 per gallon now must pay around $ 3.04.  Prior to January, Ecuador was subsidizing 60% of actual value of fuel.
The first effect of this decision was the rising price of widespread airfare on all routes, even those which kept the fuel subsidy. Increases were recorded between 15% and 40%, with greatest impact on flights to and from the Galapagos Islands.
Higher prices and screening of a fall in passenger demand forced a reduction of costs in the airline LAN, which decided to cut jobs.
On 25 Jan. 60 workers were laid-off, since the structure of the company was over sized for the new market reality.  That same day also announced the reduction of frequencies on routes Quito-Guayaquil and Quito-Cuenca.
The decision to maintain a subsidy of 40% only at airports managed by the State, was a direct payment to the state company TAME, which is the only flying at Loja, Lago Agrio (Sucumbios), Esmeraldas, Santa Rosa (Machala ) and Tulcán (Carchi), airports managed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
TAME announced an increase of $ 6 via these routes, because in any case had to pay more for fuel.

But that decision was cast down by the government.  The President, who said that the poor do not fly in an airplane, ordered the public company reducing prices.  The argument was that to promote the use of state-owned airports need lower prices, which affect not TAME  because they have to recoup investments in three new aircraft, which were paid with public funds.
The company complied with the order and the price of passage on the route Quito-Santa Rosa, for example, fell by USD $34.4.
State aid for public companies, however, causes distortions in the market.
Guillermo Bernal, president of the National Airline Association (Adena), said TAME has to subsist on efficiency. “You should not expect the State to subsidize the losses at the end of the year.  So there is no competition.
And not to lose market share, companies are adjusting their business model, which may include a change in the airline fleet, says Bernal.
The Executive Order eliminated the air fuel subsidy lifted the airline demands had access to that benefit.  Among them, having a modern fleet, ie the year of manufacture of the aircraft is later than 1990.
To comply with these regulations, according to Bernal, companies invested about USD 1200 million. But as no such incentive, companies may see in older aircraft one way to reduce costs.  In addition, the previous Decree stipulated that labor should be a national company for the benefit of the subsidy.  It is no longer required the hiring of crew and national pilot, which opens the possibility of further layoffs.
The settings become a priority in a scenario of lower passenger demand.  Travel agents say the sale of tickets for corporate executives has remained so far, but some of the people who travel for tourism have stopped.

To reverse this trend, airlines have launched promotions for two weeks, though less attractive than in the past.   In 2011 being advertised tickets to and from Guayaquil and Cuenca for $ 48. Ahora la oferta es de USD 66. Now the offer is $ 66.
In recent weeks, following the fuel price increase, there was uncertainty for businesses.  The question was repeated in the field: what will companies do to absorb the costs and regain profitability levels without affecting the volume of traffic?
That led to adjustments.  Was transferred fuel cost to the user.  Some companies have reduced staff, others have rearranged their frequencies and fares.  This through the ‘Revenue Management’, a computer system to manage the sale of space on the plane.
The international comparative rate before and after removal of the subsidy has barely moved.  This shows that before local airlines, selling tickets outside, were making more, but had subsidized fuel.  Now the price is similar and unsubsidized.
In Ecuador there is no comprehensive aviation policy. What you need is laws that are made outside of policy. Hence, establishing agreements, agreements, airlines are allowed revenue. For example, when setting the fuel subsidy was said that one idea was to improve the national airline fleet. Now go away.  This must be done gradually so that the impact is not strong on the user because the companies continue their same income levels and the user is who ends up footing the bill.
Two decisions of the national government
The grant will mean the Treasury $ 92 million. The State covers USD 1.80 per gallon.  Airlines canceled until December 2011, USD 1.24.  Since the elimination of subsidies, the airlines are charged USD 3.04.

In the binational meeting between Colombia and Ecuador, the aeronautical authorities discussed the possibility that the state airline TAME enter immediately to operate routes such as Caracas, Bogota and Quito.

To encourage the flow of passengers, the governments of Ecuador and Colombia decided that flights between the two countries are considered domestic.  The authorities expect that the user could save $ 100.

Aerogal Takes Delivery of New Airbus A320-200

December 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Aerogal one of the main airlines operating flights within Ecuador and to the Galapagos Islands has taken delivery of a new Airbus A320-200.  The new aircraft with capacity for 150 passengers offers a two-class configuration; currently most aircrafts operating within Ecuador offer a single class of service.

The new aircraft was the first of three Airbus planes to be delivered in 2010 and is the start of Aerogal’s new fleet of planes.   Aerogal currently offers flights between Quito, Guayaquil, Galapagos, Cuenca and Manta as well as international destinations such as Lima and New York.  Last week Aerogal announced new routes including Lago Agrio and Coca in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

“For AEROGAL, the arrival of our first A320 marks a new era in Ecuadorian aviation,” said Gabriela Sommerfeld, President of AEROGAL. “We are convinced that these new and modern aircraft, arriving direct from the assembly line, will help AEROGAL grow and expand its brand internationally.”

Galapagos Biodiverse Paradise

December 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

A good article on Island Based Travel….enjoy!

By Gabriela Supelano / Ecuador

This archipelago, Ecuador has no comparison. It is unique for its number of animals, diversity of landscapes and isolation.  The perfect place to understand the evolution by Charles Darwin.

Galapagos Marine Iguana

The landscape of the Galapagos Islands may well have come from a science fiction movie. It is barren, dry, low vegetation and little green.  It is also full of volcanoes and lava dry. Next to the alien land is a deep blue sea. It’s a no man’s land, or rather, a land not owned by its human inhabitants it’s owned by nature.

The islands have much to offer.  Therefore, it is best to plan to visit ahead of time, although in a few days can also make a nice trip. There are 13 large volcanic islands, 6 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islets. So much to explore and learn.

Each island is very different from the other, so much so that large Galapagos tortoises are several species that evolved by isolation and climatic conditions of each site.

The airport is located in the small island of Baltra.  On arriving there, tourists should take a ferry to transport them to one of the most important islands, Santa Cruz. In the upper parts are two huge craters called Los Gemelos. These are formed when several underground lava tubes collapsed.

Moreover, in Santa Cruz is a giant tortoise reserve and Charles Darwin. This site is intended for research and conservation of the giant tortoises and that’s where Lonesome George, animal emblematic of the islands.

George is the last specimen of its kind.  For this reason, researchers at the Charles Darwin Station are trying to reproduce with females genetically very similar species.

In Santa Cruz is also Puerto Ayora, the largest town in Galapagos. It is a perfect place to stay. From Puerto Ayora you can take boats and cruisers for all the islands and diverse infrastructure and hotels.

From Santa Cruz you can go to San Cristobal, a small island but definitely missed. In Santa Cruz there are nature walks in the vegetation of the area and beaches. In addition, sea lions are everywhere, from the pier to the beach.  Its small size also means it has less flow of tourists. It also has cabins and small hotels for those who do not want to move there.

The other big island is Isabela. This is much younger than San Cristobal, which has beautiful beaches, lots of wildlife and several volcanoes that can be crossed on foot or horseback.

Isabela also has a huge area for snorkeling, where there are reefs, fish and you can see another turtle or a sea lion.  It is the perfect place to appreciate the huge marine iguanas characteristics of small islands and penguins that inhabit them.

The Galapagos Islands are a point where biodiversity operates, so much so that looks like a zoo without cages or bars. Animals are masters of the rocks and beaches, and you have to ask permission to walk on their land. It’s a unique place, which also stands at the center of the world along the equator.

LAN Begins Serving San Cristobal

November 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

LAN Airlines the leading South American carrier has begun operating two flights weekly to the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos.

“By opening this new route, the island of San Cristobal will be connected not only to Ecuador, but to the world, through the different international destinations reached by LAN Ecuador, LAN Airlines and its other affiliates, as well as by other airline members of the oneworld alliance,” said Maximiliano Naranjo, general manager of LAN Ecuador, in a written statement.

San Cristobal is one of two airports in the Galapagos Islands.  Prior to the operation of LAN, San Cristobal was served by TAME and Aergoal who operated several flights per week.  LAN provides much needed space on flights to the Galapagos.

“The community is looking forward to our flights, and we want to respond by delivering the world-class service we are known for,” added Naranjo.

The flights will be operated with a fleet of modern Airbus A320 aircraft, whose fuel efficiency allows them to produce less noise and CO2 emissions. Approximate flight time from Guayaquil to San Cristobal is two hours, and flights will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays.

New Flights Between Australia and South America

August 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

Qantas Airlines announced yesterday in early 2012 Qantas will
begin a new service to Santiago, Chile. The new route is part of Qantas groups
five-year plan to create a modern, customer-focused and competitive global

The new South America route will operate three times per week using
a three-class Boeing 747 reconfigured with Airbus A380 product, and replace
Qantas’ current direct flights between Sydney and Buenos Aires. Over time
Qantas looks to increase the service to daily flights. Flying time from Sydney
to Santiago is 13 hours and flying time from Santiago to Sydney is 14 hours 25

Qantas is a member of the oneworld alliance and the new service
dovetails with oneworld alliance partner LAN whose hub is in Santiago. Arriving
in Santiago travelers can make easy connections throughout the region including
flights to the Galapagos Islands and Cusco, Peru  the gateway to Machu Picchu.

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