Aerolineas Argentinas withdraw their thrice weekly Airbus 340 service from Buenos Aires-Auckland-Sydney service today because of mounting operational costs. In early May Aerolineas Argentinas' New Zealand sales manager, Chris Schoffer, said costs, particularly for fuel, were too high. Taking New Zealand "out of the equation" made a significant reduction in the company's costs. It's not viable to fly to New Zealand any more."
In December 1980 Argentinian officials were in Wellington to negotiate a bilateral air service agreement. Initially these negotiations were not successful but between April and August 1981 five charter flights were operated. A regular service to Auckland finally began on the 5th of September 1981, the first flight being operated by Boeing 747-287B LV-OEP arriving in Auckland on the following day.
The flights were again suspended on the 7th of June 2001 due to losses on all routes. By this time the airline was operated Airbus A340-200s on the service. The service was reinstated on a weekly basis on the 10th of December 2001 and gradually the frequency was built up to three flights per week.
While Auckland loses its Aerolineas Argentinas service today the company will continue to fly direct to Sydney from Buenos Aires.
This post was compiled from Bruce Gavin's records
|LV-ZPO on finals to Auckland's runway 23 on 18 May 2008. Photo : S Lowe|