Líneas Aéreas Privadas Argentinas
|Ceased operations||April 2003|
|Fleet size||5 (at the time of closure)|
|Destinations||19 (at the time of closure)|
|Headquarters||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Website||www.lapa.com.ar (currently unavailable)|
Líneas Aéreas Privadas Argentinas (English: Private Argentine Air Lines), more commonly known by the acronym LAPA, was an airline based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At its heyday, the carrier operated international services to the United States and Uruguay, as well as an extensive domestic network within Argentina. Additionally, the company also operated charter services. Domestic and regional flights were operated from downtown's Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, whereas an international service to Atlanta was operated from Ministro Pistarini International Airport. LAPA was the first carrier to break a monopolistic market controlled by Aerolíneas Argentinas and its sister company Austral Líneas Aéreas, offering competitive prices. It ceased operations in April 2003.
The airline was formed in 1977, initially aimed at providing internal services within the Buenos Aires Province. In May 1978, it was authorised to operate charter services to cities in the Americas, and scheduled services began the following year. By July 1980 , the major shareholder of the company was Claudio Zichy-Thyssen; the fleet comprised three YS-11As and a Piper Cheyenne that worked on a domestic passenger and cargo network serving Concordia, Ezeiza Airport, Gualeguaychu, La Plata, Necochea, Olavarria, Parana, Pehuajo, San Nicolas and Tres Arroyos. Gustavo Deutsch acquired the company in 1984, when it had a network consisting of two domestic routes served with a single propeller aircraft.
In January 1987, the airline became the first South American operator of the Saab 340. The carrier started a period of major grow in 1993 when it gained permissions to fly to Bariloche, Córdoba, Iguazú and Mar del Plata. A year later, the route network included 17 destinations, served with three aircraft. At March 1995 , LAPA had 60 employees; the fleet consisted of one Beech B-58 Baron, one Beech King Air 500, two Boeing 737s and two Saab 340s that worked on routes to Bariloche, Colonia, Córdoba, Iguazú, Mar del Plata, Mendoza, Montevideo and Villa Gessel. By late 1996, LAPA had a 30% of domestic market share.
Change of ownership and name
On 27 September 2001 the airline changed its name to ARG Argentina Línea Privada following the acquisition of the company by Eduardo Eurnekian.:89 Aircraft were painted in a new livery, displaying the acronym ARG on both sides of the fuselage. This situation prompted an issue with the airline's name, as ARG is the ICAO airline code for Aerolíneas Argentinas. In mid-2002 the name of the airline was changed to AIRG.:90 Bolivian airline AeroSur and four Argentine investors acquired the airline on 29 August 2002,:90 and the original name LAPA was restored.:90
The company filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2001, and went out of business in April 2003, after three of its five aircraft were repossessed by the lessors. LAPA still holds the record for longest-surviving Argentine private airline, as it stayed in the business for over 25 years.
The airline had its heyday following the deregulation of the Argentine air market in 1994; it operated an extensive domestic network, as well as international services to Atlanta, Montevideo and Punta del Este.
Nineteen destinations were served at the time of closure in 2003, namely Buenos Aires, Comodoro Rivadavia, Córdoba, El Calafate, Florianópolis, Iguazú, Mendoza, Puerto Madryn, Puerto Montt, Salta, San Carlos de Bariloche, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo, Trelew, Tucumán, and Ushuaia.:90 Throughout its history, the airline served the following destinations:
Prior to its bankrupt in April 2003 the most modern aircraft in the fleet, such as the brand-new Boeing 737-700s, Boeing 757-200s, as well as a single Boeing 767-300ER the company flew the Buenos Aires–Atlanta route with, were gradually returned to their lessors throughout 2001 and 2002, as their leases proved too expensive. When LAPA ceased operations in April 2003, only three of its remaining five Boeing 737-200 Advanced were operational. The company operated the following equipment all through its history:
Accidents and incidents
- 31 August 1999: Flight 3142, a Boeing 737-200C, registration LV-WRZ, that operated a scheduled Buenos Aires–Córdoba passenger service, crashed during takeoff from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery after it failed to get airborne. Unable to stop, the aircraft overshot the runway, hit the perimeter fence at a speed greater than 250 kilometres per hour (160 mph), hit a car while crossing an avenue, collided with a wall and heavy construction machinery, came to rest on a golf course, and burst into flames less than a minute later. Out of 103 occupants of the plane, 63 perished in the accident, plus 2 ground casualties. The accident remains the second deadliest one in the Argentine aviation history, behind Austral Líneas Aéreas Flight 2553.
- "World airline directory – Lineas Aereas Privadas Argentinas (Lapa)". Flight International 118 (3716): 327. 26 July 1980. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 29 November 2013.
- "World Airline Directory – Lineas Aéreas Privadas Argentinas (LAPA)" (pdf). Flight International: 90. 26 March 1988. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- Goodman, Joshua (25 December 2000). "South by Southwest". Forbes. Archived from the original on 29 November 2013.
- De Paola, Ernesto (26 December 1996). "LAPA tiene el 30% del cabotaje" [LAPA has 30% of domestic market share]. La Nación (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 30 December 2013.
- "World airline directory – Lineas Aereas Privadas Argentinas (LAPA)". Flight International 147 (4464): 75. 22 March 1995 – 28 March 1995. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013.
- "Directory: world airlines | LAPA – LINEAS AÉREAS PRIVADAS ARGENTINAS" (pdf). Flight International: 89 – 90. 25 March 2003 – 31 March 2003. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "LAPA waits on elections". Flightglobal. Flight International. 13 May 2003. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012.
- "Pride of Argentina". Flightglobal. Airline Business. 1 October 1995. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. "In 1994 domestic deregulation allowed Lapa explosive growth from four routes in 1993 to 20 routes by mid 1995."
- "World Airline Directory | LAPA – Lineas Aereas Privadas Argentinas" (pdf). Flight International: 90. 21 March 2000 – 27 March 2000. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "Routes". Flightglobal. Flight International. 3 April 2001. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. "Argentinian airline LAPA will drop its Buenos Aires-Atlanta Boeing 767-300ER service on 1 April in favour of codesharing on Delta Air Lines' daily Boeing MD-11 flight between the two cities. The two carriers are discussing a cargo alliance."
- "Una empresa que creció y ganó mercado" [A company that grew up and gained market share] (in Spanish). La Nación. 1 September 1999. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013.
- "SubFleets for: LAPA". AeroTransport Data Bank. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- Photography of a LAPA Embraer EMB 110[dead link]
- "International programmes taking shape" (PDF). Flight International: 1296. 12 November 1983. Retrieved 4 April 2012. "Lineas Aeras [sic] Privadas Argentinas (Lapa) has ordered the ATR42 to replace its two Shorts 330s in the commuter role..."
- Accident description for LV-WRZ at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 29 April 2011.
- "New questions raised on LAPA accident". Flightglobal.com. 15 September 1999. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- "Desastre aéreo en Aeroparque: 63 muertos; hay sobrevivientes" [Air disaster at Aeroparque: 63 deaths; there are survivors]. La Nación (in Spanish). 1 September 1999. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Líneas Aéreas Privadas Argentinas.|
- LAPA Former Fleet Detail.