South America: Air Service Improves, Expands

Air transportation is everything in getting to and around South America, and the enormous increase in nonstop and/or direct flights between the Americas has made travel there more convenient than ever.

Travelers are benefitting not only from greater frequencies to major South American gateways, but from upgraded equipment on international routes and from the buildup of new services, particularly by Continental, from the Newark, Houston and Dallas hubs.

The newest service expected to come on line is American's, flying daily between New York (Kennedy) and Lima, pending government approval.

Some of the most potentially useful services are city-pairs that connect regions within South America. For example, Lan Chile and Aerolineas Argentinas have established what amounts to an "air bridge" of a dozen flights a day between Santiago and Buenos Aires.

In the Andes, AeroPeru is linking Santiago and Arica with Cusco and Lloyd Aere Boliviano has daily service between La Paz and Cusco. Also, American has filed to extend its proposed service from New York to Lima on to Cusco, and has requested local traffic rights for the Lima-Cusco sector.

New to the North-South American airline picture are code-share agreements between U.S. carriers and newly privatized South American carriers. Present alliances include United-Varig, American-LanChile, American-TAM and, coming soon, American-Aerolineas Argentinas.

Miami-based Robert Booth, editor of "Aviation, the Latin America & Caribbean Newsletter," pointed out that "these alliances are not only devices to increase carrier revenues, but to lure more passengers with such conveniences as one-stop check-ins and increased frequent flyer benefits."

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The Carriers' Phone Numbers

Aerolineas Argentinas: (800) 333-0276.

AeroPeru: (800) 777-7717.

American: (800) 433-7300.

Avianca: (800) 284-2622.

Continental: (800) 525-0280.

Ecuatoriana: (800) 732-8277.

Guyana Airways: (718) 693-8000 in New York, (800) 242-4210 elsewhere.

LanChile: (800) 825-5526.

Lloyd Aereo Boliviano: (800) 327-7407.

Saeta: (800) 827-2382.

Servivensa: (800) 428-3672.

Suriname Airways: (800) 327-6864.

Transbrasil: (800) 872-3153.

United: (800) 825-6422.

Varig: (800) 468-2744.

VASP: (800) 732-8277.

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