- IATA Code
- International Airlines serving this country (excluding codeshares)
Ecuador is a republic located in South America, sharing a border with Colombia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean. Although the republic of Ecuador is a small country, it has airports in 15 cities, however only two of them are international; they are Quito International Airport (Mariscal Sucre Airport) and Guayaquil International Airport (Simon Bolivar Airport). The main domestic airline is AeroGal, though there are other small and charter airlines. LAN Airlines, American Airlines as well as Iberia Airlines all operate regular flights to Guayaquil and Quito. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Ecuador is the main regulating authority in the country.
Airports in Ecuador
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LATAM Airlines Group announced on 07-Mar-2013 that its TAM, TAM Paraguay and LAN Colombia subsidiaries would join its sister carriers in oneworld, confirming moves which had been considered a foregone conclusion for 18 months. The Star Alliance now faces the risk of not having a member in Brazil, one of the world’s most important growth markets, after TAM shifts from Star to oneworld in 2Q2014. But the void will not last long as Brazil’s fourth largest carrier, Avianca Brazil, will almost certainly join its sister carriers in Star, potentially by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s second largest carrier Gol continues to be wooed by SkyTeam. With TAM moving to oneworld and Avianca Brazil expected to join Star, the stakes mount for SkyTeam while the benefit of maintaining independence for Gol diminishes.
Ecuador’s largest domestic carrier TAME is pursuing ambitious international expansion which will result in its international network growing from two to nine destinations in less than a year. TAME has added five new international destinations over the last six months, including Sao Paulo on 07-Jan-2013, and is planning to add Buenos Aires and New York by mid-2013. New York will be served with A330s as TAME becomes only the sixth airline group in Latin America to operate widebody aircraft.
The expansion is risky as TAME competes in its home market against Latin America’s largest airline groups – LAN and TAM parent LATAM and Avianca-TACA. The LAN-TAM and Avianca-TACA mergers have made it very difficult for small independent carriers to survive in Latin America, particularly those not following regional carrier models. TAME in recent years has been primarily a regional carrier, operating domestic routes below the radar screens of the big airline groups, but its current expansion puts the government-owned carrier into a much different and more competitive sector.
Ecuador, a small country sandwiched between Colombia and Peru and hitherto little known outside South America, has been in the media eye for the last three months, since the Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange took up residence in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London seeking diplomatic immunity from extradition, prompting a growing international crisis. While there is not the same degree of intrigue in the airport business in Ecuador the country is, like Germany, making heavy weather out of opening its new capital city airport.
Six carriers from Latin American airline groups Avianca-TACA and Copa are formally entering the Star Alliance on 21-Jun-2012, marking the first of several key alliance movements in the fast-growing Latin American market. The six carriers – which include two from Colombia and one each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama and Peru – will temporarily widen Star’s market-leading position in Latin America. But the gain will not offset the upcoming loss of Latin America’s largest airline TAM, which will be exiting Star within 24 months. Star would find itself as the third biggest alliance in the key Latin American market under the increasingly likely scenario of TAM joining new sister carrier LAN in oneworld and Brazil’s other major carrier, Gol, being affiliated with SkyTeam.
Star has enjoyed the status of Latin America’s largest alliance since TAM joined in May-2010. Star has since accounted for about 20% of total capacity in the Latin America and Caribbean region, compared to about 14% for oneworld and 10% for SkyTeam.
The spotlight in Latin America this year will primarily be shone on LAN and TAM as the two airline groups complete their landmark merger and begin the integration process. But it is also a key year for Avianca-TACA, which completed their merger in early 2010 and has completed about 90% of its integration process.
The integration of Avianca and TACA will be wrapped up this year as the carrier formally joins the Star Alliance, completing two major milestones for the fast-expanding airline group. Several major decisions also loom for the group in 2012 related to its corporate structure, branding and fleet.
Structurally, a decision will likely be made by the end of this year on whether to bring Avianca Brazil into the publicly traded holding company Avianca-TACA. The Brazilian carrier is still owned by the Synergy Group, the holding company controlled by the Efromovich family which also owned Avianca prior to its merger with TACA (the Efromovich family now has a majority share in Avianca-TACA Holding). As a result, Avianca Brazil remains separate although it has a co-branding arrangement with Colombia-based Avianca.
Avianca-TACA has decided to expand its acquisition of A320-family aircraft to drive further expansion in the second half of this decade at its various subsidiaries throughout Latin America. The airline group used the Paris Air Show to sign a memorandum of understanding on 22-Jun-2011 for 18 additional A320s and 33 A320neos.