If you’ve never heard of AeroPeru, don’t feel bad. They haven’t carried a single passenger since the dawn of this millennium. But, once upon a time, AeroPeru was the country’s flag carrier and number one airline.
Now, the airline is back and looking to re-enter the Peruvian domestic air travel market. With the recent death of Peruvian Airlines, the timing couldn’t be better. But is this airline truly back to life? And what caused it to fade away in the first place?
The History of AeroPeru
AP flew through Peruvian skies between 1973 and 1999. For the most part, it was a huge success. The airline could take you to numerous international destinations, such as Miami, Buenos Aires, and more.
However, during much of the 70s and 80s, the airline was a public company. Public companies in Peru tended to reek of corruption and poor management. AP was no exception.
When Alberto Fujimori started selling off public companies to the private sector, he put AeroPeru up for bid. It was eventually bought out by the holding company that owned AeroMexico. However, the airline simply wasn’t able to stay profitable without public funding. What happened next put the nail in the company’s coffin.
On October 2nd, 1996, 70 people, including 9 crewmembers, died when flight 603 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The crash was completely avoidable, the result of a maintenance error. During an evening paint job, a worker taped off rows of sensors but never removed the tape.
Once in the air, the pilots endured loud alarms as the sensors failed to report accurate data. Essentially, they were left to fly blind and were unable to find Lima’s airport. They would crash into the waters off the coast of Ancon, just a few miles away from safety.
A special thanks goes out to the site Transponder1200, a Spanish-language aviation news site which had a great historical post about flight 603.
The accident rocked consumer confidence in the airline. AeroMexico sold of its stake in the company to Delta Airlines. However, the company continued to change hands, until eventually someone got a good enough deal to justify buying it and liquidating its assets.
Because of Flight 603, AeroPeru couldn’t get back into the air. At least, not until now.
How This Airline Returns to Life
Going all the way back to last year, a new company filed a petition with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC) for permission to fly 14 routes in Peru. They originally received half of that number, and filed again in August of this year to have all 14. MTC granted their wish this month.
AeroPeru has authorization to fly to the following cities: Arequipa, Cajamarca, Chiclayo, Cusco, Iquitos, Jaen, Juliaca, Piura, Pucallpa, Puerto Maldonado, Tacna, Tarapoto, Trujillo, and Tumbes. All of these routes will connect to Lima.
They haven’t put in a request for international flights yet, so don’t expect to fly to Peru from Miami on AP anytime soon. But it’s encouraging to see that the void created by Peruvian Airlines’ collapse is quickly being filled. And as always, regardless of who you’re flying with, we can help you get there.