The Argentinian ultra-low-cost carrier Flybondi is looking to invest heavily in its fleet by 2023, increasing it by 33% compared to its current size. Flybondi is looking to add additional Boeing 737-800NG planes.

Increasing the fleet size of Flybondi

Flybondi is currently Argentina’s second-largest airline by fleet size, behind Aerolíneas Argentinas (the State carrier in this South American country). Nonetheless, Flybondi is nowhere close to catching Aerolíneas in the number of planes they have (eight versus 79).

During the General Assembly organized by the Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), the ultra-low-cost carrier revealed more about its fleet plans in the coming months.

Earlier this month, Flybondi received its eighth aircraft, a Boeing 737-800NG, registration LV-KEH. This plane is 12.04 years old, and it was first operated by Garuda Indonesia between 2010 and 2022 (the carrier ordered it from Boeing in December 1999). Flybondi’s average age of its fleet is 14.1 years old, which is less than ideal for an ultra-low-cost carrier. Nevertheless, the airline has been effectively growing in market share across Argentina in the last few months (as of September 2022, Flybondi holds 18% domestic and 5% international market shares).

Before the year ends, Flybondi will definitely receive two additional planes and could add two additional 737-800s to its fleet, finishing the year with up to 12 narrowbody jets.

A Flybondi aircraft

Photo: Flybondi..

New arrivals

Mauricio Sana, Flybondi’s CEO, said that the airline could finish the year with a fleet of 12 aircraft. Moreover, the airline projects to continue with the growth in its capacity, and it will lease at least five 737-800 additional aircraft during 2023, bringing the fleet size to a total of 17 jetliners.

“Today, we were able to confirm that we will seek to have 12 operational aircraft in the coming months and that we are launching into the leasing market to seek more fleet for 2023, which will bring new domestic routes and more countries in the region connected to Argentina,” said Sana while speaking with journalists at Buenos Aires.

Currently, Flybondi has leased aircraft with AerCap (three planes), Constitution Aircraft Leasing (two), Macquarie AirFinance (two), and FTAI Aviation (one already delivered and two to be delivered shortly).

A Flybondi aircraft

Photo: Flybondi.

Flybondi’s fleet

Flybondi’s 737NGs have the capacity to carry 189 passengers in a single cabin. The airline’s oldest aircraft is a 16.47 years old B737-800NG, registration LV-KAY. This unit, owned by AerCap, was first ordered in March 2000 and delivered in 2006. Before Flybondi, the plane flew with Air India Express (2006-2014) and Air Transat (2014-2020). Meanwhile, the airline’s youngest plane is an 11.88 years old 737 registration LV-KDQ. This plane was first ordered by the leasing company GECAS in 2006, and it is currently owned by Constitution Aircraft Leasing. It previously flew with Garuda Indonesia between 2010 and 2022.

With this aging fleet of 737NGs, Flybondi has been able to double its market share compared to 2019 levels. It is also the airline with the highest load factor in Argentina (2019). Mauricio Sana said that the ultra-low-cost carrier has carried 87% more passengers in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic traffic levels.

Flybondi currently flies to 17 domestic and two international destinations. In Argentina, the airline serves Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Corrientes, Córdoba, Jujuy, Mendoza, Neuquén, Posadas, Iguazú, Salta, Santiago del Estero, Trelew, Tucumán, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, El Calafate, and Comodoro Rivadavia. Internationally, it flies to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (Brazil) and expects to resume services to Florianopolis shortly.

Have you ever been onboard a Flybondi flight? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments below.


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