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South American Startups EQUAIR And Ultra Air Get Their First Jets

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During the weekend, the Ecuadorian startup EQUAIR has received the first of its Boeing 737-700 Next-Generation aircraft. This is the first step towards launching operations from EQUAIR, a new carrier that aims to serve the domestic market in Ecuador and compete directly with Avianca and LATAM.

EQUAIR received its first aircraft this weekend. Photo: EQUAIR.

Additionally, the Colombian ultra-low-cost startup Ultra Air is also showcasing how its first aircraft will look like. Ultra Air posted photos of its first Airbus A320 with complete livery on social media; the plane is parked in Alabama.

The B737-700

On Saturday, EQUAIR received the first Boeing 737-700 NG, registration HC-CXB. This unit, former registration EI-GVU and PH-BGN, previously operated with KLM, according to ch-aviation’s database.

Park Aerospace Holdings first ordered the aircraft in April 2007. It had its first flight in March 2011 and was delivered that same month to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The flag carrier of the Netherlands used this plane until March 2021.

HC-CXB departed from Lleida in Spain on November 25. It landed a few hours after at Keflavik International Airport in Iceland. The aircraft stayed there until December 3, when it departed to Boston and from the US city to Latacunga, Ecuador.

EQUAIR sent “a seasoned crew, trained in the United States under one of the best training programs for pilots offered by Boeing” to receive the B737-700.

EQUAIR will begin operations on December 20. Photo: EQUAIR.

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EQUAIR’s plans

The Ecuadorian startup was only introduced last month. EQUAIR remained under the radar working towards launching domestic operations in Ecuador.

The 737-700 it received this weekend is the first of the five aircraft that will compose EQUAIR’s initial fleet. The carrier will start operations on December 20 with the aircraft. Initially, it will cover routes between Quito, Guayaquil, and the Galápagos Islands said EQUAIR.

The airplanes will have a capacity for 142 passengers in an all-economy configuration. EQUAIR signed an agreement with KLM-Air France. The European carriers will provide technical assistance, personnel training, spares, and logistic support.

Ultra Air’s first planes

Its not only EQUAIR that is set to receive its first aircraft. The Colombian startup Ultra Air has also shown how its first aircraft currently looks. Ultra Air showed an Airbus A320, registration N712AV, with the airline’s new livery on social media.

Park Aerospace Holdings own this A320. It had its first flight and delivery in March 2006. Before arriving at Ultra Air, the airplane used to fly with Air Arabia, OLT Express Poland, VietJetAir, and IndiGo Airlines.

The Colombian carrier said,

“The dream is coming true with the arrival of our first aircraft to Colombia. It is ready to depart and start its trip home.” 

Ultra Air has shown at least another A320 in the past. The aircraft, registration N304AV, hasn’t been painted so far, and it is currently stored at Tucson International Airport, according to ch-aviation.

N304AV is 14.84 years old. It first flew in 2007. Prior to Ultra Air, this aircraft flew with Air Arabia, Donavia, and Mexican carrier Interjet. Interestingly enough, Ultra Air’s CEO, William Shaw, was Interjet’s last general director before the airline ceased operations in December 2020.

Are you excited about the launch of operations from EQUAIR and Ultra Air? Are you planning to travel with the new carriers shortly? Let us know in the comments below.

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