Ecuador will have a new airline in the coming months. The startup Ecuacondor will be the new Latin American company that will soar the region’s skies, and its launch date is very close.
The company has revealed some routes it would like to operate and the fleet it would employ to reach these destinations.
A few days ago, it was announced that their first aircraft was undergoing maintenance inspection and painting.
The Ecuadorian journalist Nicolás Arenas, who specialized in aviation, first announced that a new startup began the launch process in 2022.
Based in Quito, Ecuacondor aims to operate as a domestic company in the South American country. Additionally, they obtained permission to use it as a charter company serving various international destinations from Guayaquil International Airport (GYE).
According to Larenas, the startup has an ambitious plan to serve many destinations throughout Ecuador. The company’s route map is reminiscent of TAME, the former state airline that ceased operations in 2020 due to insurmountable debt.
From Guayaquil, they plan to provide service to these domestic destinations: Cuenca, Loja, Esmeralda, and Quito, with up to 14 weekly flights</vital. From the capital, they plan to fly to Cuenca, Loja, Santa Rosa, Coca, Esmeraldas, and Manta, among others.
Internationally, it was reported that the company could fly to destinations such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Aruba, Colombia, Chile, and Peru.
Charter operations will cover these destinations, including flights to Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Ecuacondor’s first aircraft will be a Bombardier CRJ-200 with a capacity for 50 passengers. This aircraft, whose registration could be N8884E, arrived at Saltillo International Airport (SLW) in Mexico on October 28th around 12:11.
Although the official registration has not been revealed, Flightradar24 data shows that a CRJ-200LR with the registration N8884E landed in Saltillo last week.
Endeavor Air last operated this aircraft for Delta Airlines in the United States in 2020. The plane was delivered to Pinnacle Airlines in December 2003, which means it is nearly 20 years old.
In Saltillo, the aircraft will be inspected and painted, as reported by Nicolás Larenas.
Ecuacondor Faces a Complicated Challenge
Ecuador has had a streak of failed startups in the aviation sector. Several companies have yet to establish themselves in this South American country.
One of them began its operations but went bankrupt in 2023, while another received authorization to fly a couple of years ago but has yet to start.
This company, employing a fleet of three Boeing 737-700 aircraft, started operations in 2021. During EQUAIR‘s two-year history, the company transported over 700,000 passengers.
However, it couldn’t continue flying and ceased operations last month. It was the eleventh Latin American airline to stop operating since 2020.
The startup was announced in 2021, received all the permits to start operations, and revealed its branding and livery.
Ecuatoriana Airlines, which revives the old Ecuatoriana de Aviación brand (a recognized brand in the country), intended to operate a fleet of Boeing 717-200 and Dash 8 Q400 aircraft.
Despite this, the airline has yet to take off and has not launched its first flight in the past two years.
In a recent interview, the company’s CEO, Eduardo Delgado, stated that the project is underway but still needs sufficient financing.