Sol and Aerolineas Argentinas create commercial alliance

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Argentina's Rosario-based Sol Lineas Aereas and the country's national airline and SkyTeam member airline Aerolineas Argentinas have signed an agreement to develop a bilateral alliance.

The agreement, signed today by Sol's president and owner Horacio Angeli and Aerolineas Argentinas president Mariano Recalde, will include bilateral code sharing, as well as timetable coordination and Sol's integration into Aerolineas' frequent flyer programme.

According to the memorandum of understanding, Aerolineas Argentinas and its domestic subsidiary Austral will operate trunk and higher volume domestic routes with their respective Boeing 737-700 and Embraer 190 fleets, while Sol will complement their network with flights to lower traffic destinations.

Sol operates a fleet of seven Saab 340 turboprops to 15 destinations in Argentina and Uruguay.

Sol's Angeli tells Flightglobal that his airline "has been created with the mission to fly to destinations, which cannot be economically served by the larger airlines". He points out that Sol is "replacing all older Saab 340A models with the newer and more capable B ones".

While he admits that the capacity of the 34 seater aircraft is limited, he does not rule out complementing it with larger turboprops in the future, while maintaining its status as a complementary operator to larger airlines like Aerolineas Argentinas.

The agreement largely resembles the one signed earlier this month with Uruguayan ATR 72 operator BQB Air and will improve Aerolineas Argentinas' market access to secondary destinations in the Southern Cone of America.