Boliviana De Aviacion Getting A330s

Filed Under: Other Airlines

One of the things that I like about living in Miami is that we have some unique airlines that you don’t see at any other US airports. One of those airlines is Boliviana de Aviacion, which operates a combination of 737s and 767s between Miami and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

The airline has a fleet of four 767-300s, which are an average of over 20 years old. I’ve been wanting to fly one of these because I sort of have a thing for outdated interiors. So I’m not sure whether it’s good news or not (for my purposes), but BoA is planning on refreshing their fleet.

Bolivia’s government will be injecting 17.5 million USD into the national airline to help them replace their long haul fleet, which they use primarily for flights to Miami and Madrid. While BoA is profitable, the company’s CEO notes that this money from the government will help them speed up their fleet renewal.

So, how does the airline plan on refreshing their fleet? Bolivana de Aviacion has entered into an agreement to acquire some A330s from Avianca. It’s being reported that these are still fairly new A330s, as they were built in 2016.

Avianca Brasil just recently went out of business and they had three A330s, which are now stored. While they were delivered to the airline in 2017, I guess you could say they were built in 2016, as that would make the most sense in terms of acquiring planes.

It’s said that the first A330 will be delivered in December 2019, while the second one will be delivered in June 2020. The airline isn’t yet sure exactly how many A330s they will take over, given that the A330 is bigger than the 767.

Avianca Brasil A330

This would represent a massive improvement to BoA’s onboard product. Currently their 767s have way outdated recliner seats, while these Avianca A330s have reverse herringbone seats in business class.

Avianca A330 business class

While perhaps not quite as exciting, currently BoA operates a mix of 737-300, 737-700, and 737-800 aircraft for their narrow body fleet. By 2021 the airline planes to exclusively operate 737-700s and 737-800s, as they start replacing their aircraft.

Interestingly this whole announcement comes just days after Bolivia’s president apologized to the country for the quality of the national airline, admitting that there are structural problems. The airline has had at least 10 reported safety incidents so far this year.

Bottom line

Boliviana de Aviacion getting A330s should represent a massive improvement for their passenger experience, and hopefully should also lead to fewer incidents (assuming they maintain these planes). Hopefully the airline actually follows through on this, and it’s not just something that is being alleged days after the president spoke poorly about the airline.

Now I’m really in a rush to try BoA, since I’d love to fly one of their 767s…

(Tip of the hat to Flight Global)

  1. “The airline has had at least 10 reported safety incidents so far this year.”

    Please don’t “rush” to fly one of those two decades-old 767’s, owned by a carrier with “structural problems”.

    I wonder sometimes which AvGeek blogger will be the first to ‘buy the farm’ aboard a maintenance-plagued, third-world airliner, on a needless trip that was booked for the thrill of it.

    In 1973 I disembarked from an ageing EgyptAir Ilyushin-18, which I thought at the time was kinda cool. (Four turboprops!) I’d hardly reached my Cairo hotel before that same airliner crashed, killing everyone on board.

    Since that day I’ve always thought twice when tempted to fly a really old plane or a dodgy, cash-strapped airline. I wish you would too.


  2. Thats a good news now that American Airlines is leaving operations in Bolivia. Only hope they keep competitive prices as many people choose cheaper destinations in South America.

  3. “being reported that these are still fairly new A330s, as they were built in 2016.” In airplane age these are still new planes..Now the question are these 242T models with the longer range?

  4. Please stop being so generic by just writing A330’s. Is it A330-200? Is it A330-300? It makes a whole world of a difference.
    You always do that.

  5. I have flown BOA regularly for years and have found the experience to be better than USA airlines in many ways. I do not see their self reporting of safety incidents and structural problems as anything different than what is going on to other airlines. While it is true their 767s have outdated recliner seats for business class due to their old interiors, for the same reason, they offer more space in coach than most airlines. One of many reasons, they have taken away passengers from AA. They also have a frequent flier program, called “Elevate” that is running a special of half off for domestic flights through 9/15. Flights as low as 1430 miles.

  6. I am from Bolivia, and although luckily the airline has not had any major accidents. It has had more than 10 incidents this year alone. This are not reported as the government controls everything there. But this airline saves money where ever they can voiding this so called incidents. Most common one is not replacing the tires of the planes. Just last month I think at least 2 planes, had their tires damaged on landing, one of them causing major damage to the landing gear. Just FYI. It might be a real adventure to fly BOA.

  7. All of the Boliviana de Aviacion frequent flyers who come and read this blog frequently can now sleep easier.

  8. You shouldn’t worry. Take a Xanax and rest assured it’s not like going to a US high school. You’ll be quite safe.

  9. @Icarus: BoA is their official acronym, even present on their livery and logo … I wonder who was first to pick that acronym, the US based bank or the Bolivian airline? Does anyone have any insignts?

  10. You said that perhaps getting one of Avianca Brazil’s A330-200s would make more sense. Well, I don’t think so. Although it belonged to the same owners, Avianca Brazil was managed separately from Avianca Colombia, which also controls other subsidiaries throughout Latin America, but not the defunct Brazilian airline. Avianca Brazil’s A330s were all leased and were returned to the lessors, so they are no different from any other A330s in the leasing market now.

    Moreover, as it usually happens in the nightmarish Brazilian legal system, full of appeals, counterappeals, extremely slow proceedings and conflicting laws applying to bankruptcies, Avianca Brazil’s bankruptcy is bound to be a VERY long story and nobody would really want to get involved with that. It has been many years since the former big three Brazilian airlines went bankrupt (Transbrasil in 2001, VASP in 2004 and Varig in 2007), and all three cases still have issues pending at the courts. It was for no other reason that Transbrasil- and VASP-owned planes were impounded, with nobody allowed to sell them or even touch them or maintain them, and left to rot at several Brazilian airports until a judge authorized their sale as scrap.

    In Avianca Brazil’s case, at least we were spared this pain, as the planes were just returned to the lessors and will keep flying elsewhere.

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