DALLAS — On November 17, Boliviana de Aviación (OB) bid farewell to the last Boeing 767-300ER in its fleet. The airline previously operated several of this aircraft type but had reduced the number to just four in recent years.
Two of these aircraft found their retirement in the Californian desert of Marana (Pinal Park, MZJ), while a third now has its resting place in Mexico City (MEX).
Bolivia’s state-owned airline is in the process of upgrading its aging fleet. The company has retired several older aircraft in an attempt to modernize its operation and improve sustainability.
A good number of carriers operated long-range flights using the Boeing 767, making it a popular wide-body aircraft for many years. OB’s fleet previously included several 767 aircraft, which were well-suited for destinations in its route network.
As of 2020, there were 659 Boeing 767-300 aircraft in service worldwide. In South America, LATAM Brasil (JJ) retired its Boeing 767-300ERs from passenger service, among other airlines. Other historical operators of the Boeing 767-300ER in South America include VARIG (RG), ABSA (M3), and Oceanair (TJ) in Brazil.
Fleet Renewal Strategy
Bolivia’s government-run airline has now invested in a mixed fleet comprising various aircraft types better suited for the national and international flights it operates.
OB recently welcomed three new aircraft of various types, expanding its fleet to a total of 22 aircraft. The latest arrivals include a Boeing 737-800, an Airbus A330-200, and a CRJ 200.
The aircraft were acquired through leasing contracts at a monthly cost of US$470,000. This was announced by the country’s Ministry of Public Works, Services and Housing.
On November 20, the carrier took delivery of its third and final Airbus A330-200, configured with 275 seats, 20 of them in business class. The lease contract with ORIX Aviation has a duration of 78 months and comes for US$250,000 per month. The new Airbus CP-3214, along with CP-3208 and CP-3209, were previously operated by Virgin Australia (VA) between 2012 and 2020.
The third aircraft, a CRJ 200, registered CP-3210, entered service with OB on November 27. OB received the aircraft on August 10. It has previously been in service with various US airlines since its delivery in 2002. The aircraft is configured to seat 50 passengers. It has been leased for 25 months, at a monthly cost of US$35,300.
Building a Tourist Sector
The flag carrier airline of Bolivia, which is wholly owned by the country’s government, is working to build new markets and to attract tourists to Bolivia. OB’s Viru Viru Hub in Santa Cruz aims to transform the city into a logistics center that connects Bolivia with the world.
Added to this, the carrier aims to enhance service levels to make its flights and indeed the country, more attractive to international visitors. “We have opened new international and regional routes. “We are delighted to announce the arrival of a new generation Boeing 737 and another Airbus A330-200, both joining our existing fleet.” Minister Édgar Montaño stated.
The carrier is expanding its route network and acquiring aircraft that are better suited for the flights it operates in its route network. Currently, the airline operates flights on 11 domestic and seven international routes. Internationally, it flies to Lima, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Havana, Caracas, Madrid, and Miami.
Boliviana de Aviación will use its three A330s to operate long-range flights. They will fly to MIA, MAD, and BUE.
Featured image: Boliviana de Aviación (BoA) CP-3086 Boeing 767-300(ER) Photo: Pablo Gonzalez/Airways