Ecuatoriana Airlines is set to start flying during the firsts months of 2022, according to the latest reports by the company. The startup is the revival of the former Ecuatoriana de Aviación brand, one of the most famous throughout South America. Moreover, the airline already has decided which aircraft will operate. Let’s investigate further.
Ecuatoriana Airlines will launch operations using three Dash 8s. Photo: Getty Images
The new routes
Ecuatoriana Airlines has been in the makings during the last year. The airline has the support of US and Ecuadorian investors. Earlier this year, Eduardo Delgado, the airline’s new CEO, revealed the new branding and livery of the company.
He said the airline will be a very accessible carrier that will help reconnect Ecuador. Currently, Ecuador has two domestic carriers, Avianca and LATAM. These two operators have 1,650 monthly flights, offering 217,875 seats, operating mainly from Quito (UIO) and Guayaquil (GYE).
Nevertheless, Ecuatoriana Airlines would diversify its offer, connecting the touristic city of Manca with Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. There’s also the possibility of launching a Cuenca-Galápagos Islands route.
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What about the fleet?
During the brand presentation, Ecuatoriana Airlines announced how its fleet would look in the future. After careful planning, research, and analysis, the airline decided to opt for the Boeing 717-200 and the Dash 8-Q400.
María Fernanda Intriago, commercial vice-president at Ecuatoriana Airlines, said in an interview with the local newspaper El Universo,
“We have planned to start operations with three Q400 aircraft. These are turboprops and perform excellently under the geographic conditions in Ecuador. The planes have a capacity for 75 passengers.”
Regarding the acquisition of Ecuatoriana’s new fleet, the airline recently announced,
“Our CEO, Eduardo Delgado, had successful meetings in Toronto, Canada, with his peers Gail Greenwood and Tasneem Hashmi from FlightSafety International, a company that provides training services for pilots and aviation mechanics, as well as with Eric Sharma, representative of DeHavilland, the makers of the Dash-8-Q400, aircraft that will be part of the Ecuatoriana Airlines fleet.”
Finally, regarding the acquisition of Boeing 717-200 aircraft, there is no news available. Nevertheless, from an avgeek perspective, it would be amazing to see the B717-200 back in the South American skies. Only three carriers worldwide still operate scheduled commercial flights with these planes: Delta, Hawaiian, and Cobham Aviation Services Australia.
The Dash Q400 is not very common in Latin America. ATSA Airlines is the only carrier in the region that operates this aircraft. Photo: Atsa Airlines
The Dash is also an uncommon bird in Latin America
The Dash Q400 aircraft is not very common to see in Latin America. According to Cirium’s database, in September, there were only 44 flights using the DHC-8-400 across the subcontinent.
They were all operated by the same airline, the Peruvian ATSA. This company started flying in 2017 and has a fleet of three aircraft, two DHC-8 400 and one Fokker F50, according to ch-aviation.
Worldwide, there are 72,900 monthly flights using the DeHavilland DHC-8 family. They offer 4.6 million seats. Compared to the pre-pandemic numbers, the DHC-8 family has 40% fewer flights due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, according to Cirium. The Dash-8-Q400 has been used on more than 2,500 routes since 2004. Across these 17 years, the median route length was 354 miles.
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