Austral Líneas Aéreas
|Founded||1957 (as Compañía Austral de Transportes Aéreos)|
|Commenced operations||January 1958|
|Ceased operations||30 November 2020|
|Frequent-flyer program||Aerolíneas Plus|
|Subsidiaries||Inter Austral (currently defunct)|
|Parent company||Aerolíneas Argentinas (100%)|
|Headquarters||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Key people||Mario Dell'Acqua (President)|
|Revenue||US$ 428.31 million (FY 2017) |
|Net income||US$ –149.61 million (FY 2017) |
|Total assets||US$ 494.61 million (FY 2017) |
Cielos del Sur S.A., operating as Austral Líneas Aéreas, more commonly known by its shortened name Austral, was a domestic airline of Argentina, the sister company of Aerolíneas Argentinas. It was the second-largest domestic scheduled airline in the country, after Aerolíneas Argentinas. As a subsidiary of Aerolíneas Argentinas, the company shares its headquarters with that airline, which is located in the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery of Buenos Aires, the main base of operations of the company.
Austral was currently fully integrated into Aerolíneas Argentinas; however, some differences arise, especially those relying upon the unions the staff of both companies are affiliated to, which lead to constant conflicts. In May 2020 it was announced that Austral would merge with Aerolíneas, saving an estimated 100 million US Dollars and eliminating Austral as a brand. Austral ended operations on 30 November 2020.
The origins of the carrier trace back to 1957, when Compañía Austral de Transportes Aéreos SACI (CATASACI) was founded, starting scheduled services in January 1958 . CATASACI focused its services on southwestern Argentina, but it also operated international flights to Montevideo, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. Aerotransportes Litoral Argentino (ALA) was a Rosario–based company that was founded in 1957 to operate flights between this city and Buenos Aires using Aero Commander equipment and operated flights within northern Argentina. In 1965, Pan Am acquired a 22% stake in ALA in return for supplying the company with DC-3s. A year later, CATASACI acquired a 30% holding in ALA and the services of both companies were integrated.
At May 1971C-46s, five DC-3s, two DC-6Bs and five YS-11A-300s that served a domestic network including Buenos Aires, Corrientes, Formosa, Goya, Paraná, Paso de los Libres, Posadas, Resistencia, Rosario, Salta, Santa Fe and Tucumán, plus regional services to Antofagasta and Asunción, whereas CATASACI had a fleet that included seven BAC One-Elevens —four 400s and three 500s—, one C-46, one DC-6 and three YS-11s. Austral Líneas Aéreas was formally established in June that year from the merger of CATASACI and ALA. In practice, operations of the latter airline were absorbed by CATASACI, which was rebranded as Austral Líneas Aéreas S.A. after merging. Austral inherited both companies' fleet, consisting of turboprops NAMC YS-11 and jetliners BAC One-Eleven., the ALA fleet consisted of two
Austral became a government-owned company in 1980. After poor economic performances, there were two failed attempts to re-privatise Austral in 1981 and 1983. All that time Austral and Aerolíneas Argentinas were competitors on a number of domestic routes. Realizing that such a situation could not persist much longer, the government decided again to privatise Austral. This was much resisted by the Aerolíneas Argentinas' personnel, and more specifically its pilots, who claimed their salaries were lower than those of Austral's counterparts. Aerolíneas Argentinas' pilots union understood the government effort was not to solve their affiliates salary conflict, but to focus on privatising a loss-making carrier as Austral was instead. The consequence of this discrepance was the announcement that Aerolíneas Argentinas flights were to be indefinitely suspended by way of a strike, effective 1 July 1986. The strike affected both Aerolineas Argentinas' domestic and international operations. Argentine as well as foreign carriers were benefited from this strike. Ironically, Austral was included among those carriers, gaining the domestic market share Aerolíneas Argentinas lost.
Austral became once again a privately owned firm when it was acquired by the holding company Cielos del Sur S.A. in late 1987. The acquisition generated some controversy on the Argentine aviation sector at that time, as it was raised that the new owner had little or no experience in managing an airline. In April 1988, the carrier became an IATA member. Shortly afterwards, the company faced a major accident during its new private era on 12 June 1988, when a McDonnell Douglas MD-81 hit a tree on a low visibility approach into Posadas and crashed. Apart from the 22 fatalities involved in the accident, it also spread concerns on the aviation sector over the airline's poor rate of occupation on some routes, of just 10.32% for this particular flight.
Cielos del Sur S.A. and Iberia formed a consortium to acquire an 85% stake in Aerolíneas Argentinas in 1990, within the framework of that flag carrier privatisation. Soon afterwards, Cielos del Sur S.A. sold Austral to Iberia. The destiny of both Aerolíneas Argentinas and Austral became aligned thereafter. By July 1998, the company was 10% owned by its erstwhile competitor Aerolíneas Argentinas.
On 21 July 2008 the Argentine Government took the airline back into state control after acquiring 99.4% of the share capital for an undisclosed price. The remaining 0.6% continues to be owned by the company's employees. In September 2008, Argentina's Senate approved the nationalization of Aerolíneas Argentinas and its subsidiary Austral Líneas Aéreas on a 46–21 vote in favor of the takeover.
In June 2010 The new livery resembles the colour blue of Argentina's flag and the colour yellow of the sun. As its subsidiary airline, Austral also adopted the new image. Austral's livery actually differs from the Aerolíneas Argentinas' one by a red cheatline only. In the meantime the airline also announced the incorporation of 20 new Embraer 190 to its fleet, receiving the first two of them in September 2010.Aerolíneas Argentinas launched a new paint scheme to revamp the airline's image.
The Federal Corridor (Spanish: Corredor Federal), was a two-way route linking the cities of Bariloche, Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Iguazú, Mendoza and Salta. Although the corridor is commercially ran by Aerolíneas Argentinas, the route is operated using Austral equipment.
Austral Líneas Aéreas underwent a major fleet renewal. In 2009, the company signed a contract with Embraer for the purchase of 20 Embraer 190s, in a deal worth US$600 million that was 85% financed by BNDES. Two more E-190s were ordered in April 2013 ; the first of these two aircraft was incorporated into the fleet in September 2013 .
Austral previously operated the following equipment:
- BAC One-Eleven 400
- BAC One-Eleven 500
- Boeing 737-200
- CASA CN-235 (operated for Inter Austral, a former Córdoba-based subsidiary of Austral)
- Curtiss C-46
- Douglas DC-4
- Douglas DC-6
- Douglas DC-6A
- Douglas DC-6B
- Fokker F27-100
- McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30
- McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50
- McDonnell Douglas MD-81
- McDonnell Douglas MD-82
- McDonnell Douglas MD-83
- McDonnell Douglas MD-88
- NAMC YS-11-100
- NAMC YS-11A-300
Accidents and incidents
|Date||Location||Aircraft||Tail number||Aircraft damage||Fatalities||Description||Refs|
|16 January 1959||Mar del Plata||C-46 Commando||LV-GED||W/O||51/52||The aircraft was operating a domestic scheduled Buenos Aires–Mar del Plata passenger service as Flight 205. It crashed into the sea 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) off the coast after a missed approach to the airport of destination.|||
|17 December 1969||Buenos Aires||C-46 Commando||LV-GEB||W/O||0/2||One of the engines ran out of fuel at climbout after an improper selection of the fuel pump. The pilots managed to land the plane in a nearby sports field. The aircraft was operating a cargo service.|||
|4 December 1973||Bahía Blanca||BAC 1–11 500||LV-JNR||W/O||0/74||Experienced a loss of power in an engine immediately after takeoff from Comandante Espora Airport. The pilots made a forced landing using the remaining length of the runway. Arresting cables deployed on it were unable to stop the aircraft, and damaged the fuel tanks as they broke off. Despite sparks igniting the fuel, all occupants managed to escape unharmed from the aircraft.|||
|21 November 1977||Bariloche||BAC 1–11 400||LV-JGY||W/O||46/79||The airplane was operating a chartered Buenos Aires–San Carlos de Bariloche passenger service as Flight 9, when it suffered pressurization problems during climbout to 35,000 feet (11,000 m). It flew the route despite this, although at a lower flight level. On approach to San Carlos de Bariloche Airport the aircraft collided with the ground, 21 kilometres (13 mi) east of the destination city.|||
|7 May 1981||Buenos Aires||BAC 1–11 500||LV-LOX||W/O||31/31[note 1]||The aircraft was operating a scheduled domestic Tucumán–Buenos Aires passenger service as Flight 901. Crashed into the Río de la Plata amid stormy weather while on approach to Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) east-southeast of the airfield.|||
|12 June 1988||Posadas||MD-81||N1003G||W/O||22/22||Crashed on final approach to Posadas Airport after hitting trees in low visibility. Was operating a scheduled Resistencia–Posadas service as Flight 46.|||
|10 October 1997||Nuevo Berlín||DC-9-32||LV-WEG||W/O||74/74||Crashed while en route from Posadas to Buenos Aires operating Flight 2553 after entering a storm. The likely cause of the accident was the icing of the pitot tubes. It remains the deadliest one experienced by the carrier all through its history.|||
- Aerolíneas Argentinas accidents and incidents
- List of BAC One-Eleven operators
- List of Embraer 190 operators
- List of NAMC YS-11 operators
- Transport in Argentina
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Aerolineas is now close to completing a rejuvenation of its entire narrowbody fleet, focussing on Boeing 737NGs at its mainline operation and E190s at its Austral subsidiary.
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Aerolíneas Argentinas S.A., with legal domicile in:Rafael Obligado Avenue N / N, Terminal 4, 6th floor, Jorge Newbery Airport (Aeroparque), Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
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- "Tras un día complicado, un paro de pilotos obliga a cancelar vuelos en Ezeiza" [Pilots strike force the cancellation of flights at Ezeiza after a complicated day]. Clarín (in Spanish). 4 November 2010. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Aerolíneas Argentinas y Austral darán inició al proceso de fusión de ambas compañias" [Aerolíneas and Austral will start a merge process]. www.aerolineas.com.ar (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Prevén ahorrar u$s 100 millones con la fusión de Aerolíneas y Austral" [The Aerolineas-Austral merger is expected to save 100 million dollars]. El Cronista (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Goodbye Penguins: Austral Líneas Aéreas Brand Disappears After Merge". airlinegeeks.com. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
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- "World airlines – Austral (Compania Argentina de Transportes Aereos SACI) (page 618)". Flight International. 99 (3243). 6 May 1971. Archived from the original on 16 September 2013.
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- "Argentine airlines face reorganisation". Flight International: 7. 19 July 1986. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
Argentina's flag carrier, Aerolineas Argentinas, has dismissed all 561 of its pilots after they went on indefinite strike on July 1.
- "La Gran Huelga" [The large strike] (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Thwaites Rey, Mabel (3 June 2001). "Crónica de una década que dejó a Aerolíneas al borde de la quiebra" [Chronicle of a decade that left Aerolíneas on the brink of bankruptcy]. Clarín (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Iberia takes control of Argentine carrier". Flight International. 25–31 July 1990. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
Concern had been expressed during the tender period that if the Iberia consortium was successful it would monopolise domestic routes. One of Iberia's main partners, Cielos del Sur, owns Austral, Argentina's largest private domestic airline.
- "Airline Ownership Survey". Flightglobal.com. Airline Business. 1 July 1998. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Plummer, Robert (22 July 2008). "Argentine airline set for bumpy ride". BBC News. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
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Argentine Senate authorized the renationalization of Aerolineas Argentinas by a 46–21 vote.
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- "New directions, new image" (PDF). p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Dominelli, Diego (16 September 2010). "Llega el primer avión para Austral" [First (Embraer) plane arrives for Austral]. Radio Nacional (Argentina) (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 30 September 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Kirby, Mary (8 July 2009). "UPDATE: Embraer's 1H deliveries nearly reach year-earlier tally". Philadelphia: Flightglobal. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
Embraer also signed a contract with Argentina's Austral Lineas Aereas for the sale of 20 E-190s.
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- "Embraer To Sell 20 Jets To Argentina's Austral". Airwise News. Reuters. 22 May 2009. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Straus, Brian (22 June 2009). "National carriers, fleet renewal matter of 'national dignity' in Argentina". Air Transport World. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Pereira Lima, Edvaldo (9 April 2013). "Austral Lineas Aereas orders two Embraer E-190s". Air Transport World. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013.
- "Austral orders two more E-190s". Flightglobal. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 19 March 2014.
- ""Aerolíneas creció un 88% desde el 2008 y el objetivo es crecer un 20% más por año", resaltó Recalde". Télam. 27 September 2013. Archived from the original on 24 June 2014.
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- Yeo, Ghim-Lay (2 November 2018). "Aerolineas studies proposals for E190 replacement". Panama City: Flightglobal. Archived from the original on 28 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Embraer and Austral Seal Contract for 20 Embraer 190 Jets
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- "No more tears". Flightglobal.com. Airline Business. 1 October 1997. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Bonnassies, Olivier (28 February 2013). "Aerolineas and Austral to sell MD-80 fleet". London: Flightglobal. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014.
According to the tender, Austral's fleet includes a 1988-vintage MD-81 aircraft (MSN 48025), along with two 1989-vintage MD-83 aircraft (MSNs 49630 and 49784) and two 1990-vintage MD-83 aircraft (MSNs 49906 and 49934).
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- Accident description for LV-GED at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 23 December 2011.
- Accident description for LV-GEB at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 23 December 2011.
- Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 23 December 2011.
- Accident description for LV-JGY at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 23 December 2011.
- "Safety: commercial half-year report – Fatal accidents: scheduled passenger flights". Flight International: 172. 18 July 1981. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Accident description for LV-LOX at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 5 August 2011.
- Accident description for N1003G at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 23 December 2011.
- "Commercial flight safety – Fatal accidents: scheduled passenger flights". Flight International: 51. 21 January 1989. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Accident description for LV-WEG at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 23 December 2011.
- "75 Die in Crash of Argentine Plane in Uruguay". The New York Times. 12 October 1997. Archived from the original on 23 March 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
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