New Boeing 737 Startup: Ecuador’s EQUAIR

Ecuador has a new carrier, under the name EQUAIR. This new startup will start flying next month and operate with a Boeing 737 NG fleet. Initially, it will serve the domestic market, according to a statement released by the company.

There’s going to be a new carrier in Ecuador, EQUAIR. It will operate with a fleet of two Boeing 737-700. Photo: Andy Mitchell via Flickr.

Here comes EQUAIR

On November 16, the new startup EQUAIR had an event in Quito, Ecuador, to present the company.

Initially, EQUAIR will have an airbridge between Quito (UIO) and Guayaquil (GYE), Ecuador’s two largest cities, with the most important airports, with the Galápagos Islands. The airline will operate up to seven weekly frequencies between these destinations. According to local media outlet El Universo, EQUAIR will serve both Baltra (GPS) and San Cristobal (SCY) airports in the Galápagos.

EQUAIR will operate with a couple of Boeing 737-700 NG aircraft, with a capacity for 142 passengers, the airline announced. Flights will begin next month.

This is a render of EQUAIR’s livery. Photo: EQUAIR

Ecuador’s need of a local carrier

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ecuador had on State carrier under the name TAME EP. Nonetheless, the crisis took its toll, and the Ecuadorian government closed the airline in mid-2020. Currently, Ecuador only has two active carriers, Avianca and LATAM. They are operating 1,907 domestic flights in November, 34.6% below the pre-pandemic levels in the South American country.

Moreover, neither Avianca nor LATAM are Ecuadorian carriers (although they have established brands in the country).

Gabriela Sommerfeld, EQUAIR’s CEO, addressed the subject,

“This unique moment allowed a group of businessmen, friends, and above all Ecuadorian, to look at the needs in our country of strengthening our connectivity. We’re also looking to support the Ecuadorian State’s policy of economic development and restore the passenger and cargo competitiveness.” 

Avianca Ecuador currently has a fleet of six Airbus A320-200, according to ch-aviation’s database. Meanwhile, LATAM Airlines Ecuador has a fleet of four Airbus A319-100 aircraft.

LATAM has had a 34% capacity recovery in Ecuador so far. According to a graph posted by Roberto Alvo, LATAM’s CEO, the branch in Ecuador has restored 109% of its domestic connectivity, flying to seven destinations with 32 daily flights. Nonetheless, the international connectivity has only rebounded by 13%, and LATAM Ecuador is offering two international routes from Guayaquil and Quito to Santiago de Chile.

What about Ecuatoriana Airlines?

Previously, we’ve written about Ecuatoriana Airlines, a startup looking to revive the former glory and brand of Ecuatoriana de Aviación.

Nonetheless, the process to officially launch Ecuatoriana Airlines is still going. The startup is set to launch its first commercial flights during 2022’s first months.

Additionally, Ecuatoriana de Aviación has opted to operate using a Dash 8 Q400 fleet. According to the carrier, it will use this aircraft because it consumes less fuel than an Airbus A320, allowing to reduce the ticket fares throughout the country.

Ecuatoriana de Aviación attended the Dubai Airshow earlier this week. During the event, the carrier signed an agreement with ACC Aviation, a leasing aircraft company, to acquire three Dash 8 Q400, Ecuatoriana reported on social media.

Now it is a matter of time before Ecuatoriana Airlines announces its start of operations.

Are you excited to see a couple of new carriers in Ecuador? Let us know your comments below.

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