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Airline opts for Airbus A330

Setback for Boeing at Boliviana de Aviacion

The aircraft manufacturer promoted the Dreamliner as successor for the 767 of Boliviana de Aviación. For the time being, however, the state-owned airline has decided in favour of the Airbus A330.

Dylan Agbagni/Flickr/CC0 1.0

Airbus A330-200 of Avianca Brasil: Will Boliviana de Aviación use those planes in the future?

When Boliviana de Aviación BoA announced a fleet modernization in spring, the press conference was attended by the airline’s head Ronald Casso and Randy Lander, Boeing’s manager for South America. He recommended the Dreamliner as successor for the four old 767-300s of the state airline.

Also in August Lander had his say in the Bolivian press. The Boeing manager praised the advantages of the Boeing 787-8 compared to the Airbus A330-200. And he said that many airlines had already switched from the older Airbus model to the newer Boeing model.

Does Boliviana like the A330?

But all the lobbying didn’t help. At the end of August, Bolivia’s government not only announced that Boliviana de Aviación would receive a financial injection of 17.5 million dollar to modernize its fleet, it also announced that it was going to make a major investment in A330. The government explained that the money would also be used to lease two Airbus A330-200s to replace the Boeing 767.

The first of the two long-haul aircraft should arrive in December 2019, the second in January 2020. They will be used on flights to Miami and Madrid. Shortly thereafter, Hugo Estrada, head of commerce, told Flightglobal that the A330-200s were former Avianca Brasil aircraft built in 2016. The final number of A330-200s, which are larger than the Boeing 767, was still being discussed, said Estrada.

Short and medium-haul routes continue with Boeing

Sounds like another one of the planes might be joining Boliviana. All this should make Boeing’s competitor Airbus happy and give the Europeans hope that the Bolivian state owned airline will get its taste for the A330-200 and one day order A330 Neo instead of Boeing 787 or 777 for long haul operations.

Despite Boeing’s temporary defeat in Boliviana de Aviación’s long-haul jets, the US manufacturer can hold its own in the short- and medium-haul segment. In addition to the two A330s, the airline is to use the financial injection to replace five Boeing 737-700 or -800 fleets with old 737-300s. «We currently operate eight Classic and six NG,» said Estrada about the 737 fleet. «We will receive three more NG before the end of the year.» By 2021, we want to fly 14 Boeing 737-700s and -800s and no more -300s.

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