Southern Winds Airlines
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Southern Winds Airlines (or SW Airlines) was an Argentine commercial air carrier that operated from 1996 until 2005. Southern Winds was founded by Juan Maggio, who served as president of the company.
Initially a domestic carrier, Southern Winds began offering connections to international flights in 1997. The airline's own international operations were authorized by the Argentine Government in 2001. At its peak, Southern Winds operated an extensive domestic network, international flights within the South American region, and intercontinental services from Buenos Aires to Miami and Madrid; and charter destinations like Florianopolis, Porto Seguro, Camboriu, Tacna and Punta Cana. Hubs were maintained in Córdoba (from 1996) and Buenos Aires (from 1999).
Though the company was founded as a passenger carrier, cargo transport services under the brand SW Cargo began in 2000. In 2003 an alliance was struck between Southern Winds and the Argentine-state owned Líneas Aéreas Federales Sociedad Anónima (LAFSA) that involved utilization by LAFSA of Southern Winds' flight infrastructure.
By 2004, Southern Winds was a leading commercial carrier in the troubled Argentine aviation industry. That September, however, airport police in Madrid discovered 60 kilograms (130 lb) of cocaine packed in four unaccompanied suitcases aboard an arriving Southern Winds flight. The resulting scandal cost the airline its government subsidy, and ultimately resulted in the carrier's collapse.
The last Southern Winds flight operated on December 5, 2005, although proposals for the airline's revival continued to surface in 2006.