Flybondi (FO, Córdoba Int'l) has inaugurated scheduled passenger operations following its maiden commercial flight on Friday, January 26. Operations currently run between Córdoba Int'l and each of Iguazu and San Carlos de Bariloche using B737-800 equipment. Mendoza flights are to launch on Monday, January 29.

As previously reported, Flybondi has provisional plans to start flights at Buenos Aires El Palomar with effect from late February despite a legal question mark hanging over the airfield's suitability for commercial operations.

In the longterm, it plans to operate a fleet of around 30 aircraft by the end of 2021 on flights covering the Argentine domestic and international markets.

Last week, rival start-up budget carrier Norwegian Air Argentina (DN, Buenos Aires Aeroparque) was granted its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) ahead of its entry into the scheduled Argentine domestic market later this (southern) winter season. Collectively, Flybondi and the Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) unit are by-products of President Mauricio Macri's decision to open up Argentina's long-protected scheduled aviation market to private players. Historically, it has been largely the preserve of loss-making, state-owned carrier Aerolineas Argentinas (AR, Buenos Aires Ezeiza) and its various affiliate operators.