Aerolineas Argentinas is set to reenter the freighter segment this year with the addition of two 737-800SFs to its fleet converted by Aeronautical Engineers Inc. (AEI). The carrier will be one of the first operators of the AEI 737-800SF conversion in Latin America.
Cargo Facts believes the 2001-vintage sister ships units 30570 and 30571 are the freighters joining the Argentinian carrier; both are owned by Macquarie AirFinance.
Unit 30571 arrived at the Commercial Jet facility in Miami (MIA) in July 2021 ahead of its conversion. Originally set to enter service with Kenya Airways as it emerged from conversion in December 2021, the aircraft was brought to Dothan (DHN) in the airline’s livery.
Unit 30570, meanwhile, had provided passenger service for Aerolineas Argentinas from December 2011 to November 2021, when it was placed into storage in Miami (MIA). The aircraft remained in storage until April 2022 and was then ferried to DHN for conversion.
Aerolineas Argentinas said in a Dec. 29 statement that it had entered into a service agreement with Argentina-based company Mirgor, which produces automotive and electronic components, exports agricultural goods, and has its own logistics business.
Cargo Facts believes Brazil-based Sidereal Linhas Aereas soon will begin operating 737-800SFs as well, after AEI received regulatory approval from Brazil for its 737-800SF conversion program in July 2022.
The Argentinian national carrier, which now has more than thirty passenger 737-700s and -800s, previously operated one 737-300 full freighter and a 737-200 quick-change freighter in its fleet.
Neither Aerolineas Argentinas nor Macquarie AirFinance could immediately be reached for comment.
There are currently two other 737-800 freighter operators in Latin America: GOL Transportes Aéreos, which entered into a partnership with Brazil’s e-commerce giant Mercado Libre to fly six 737-800BCFs, and Panama-based Copa Airlines, which began flying a 737-800BCF in early 2022.
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