Uruguay' flag carrier PLUNA, recently associated to a private consortium announced a fourth weekly flight Montevideo Madrid and the signing of a contract for the delivery of seven medium-ranges Canadian Bombardiers CRJ900 NextGen, plus the option for another eight.
The Uruguayan airline currently flies from Montevideo to Buenos Aires, Asuncion, Porto Alegre, Rio do Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile and Madrid. With the incorporation of the medium range CRJ900 90 seats Pluna wants to become a hub for regional flights. The company also has plans for the purchase of four long range aircrafts and one specifically for freight. According to Matias Campiani Pluna's CEO, with the new incorporations and in the coming months the company is planning to fly to Bariloche, Mendoza, Rosario, Cordoba, El Calafate, Mar del Plata, Ezeiza, Salto, Florianopolis, Foz de Iguazu, Brasilia, Curitiba, Santa Cruz, Bolivia and Miami. "All this is geared to make Pluna the regional leader in passenger transport operating from the River Plate. We're going to transform Montevideo into the regional hub and the most efficient transport option for Europe and United States plus air cargo and logistic services for the region", added Campiani. Pluna was started in 1936 and since 2007, 75% of the company's shares belong to the Leadgate Investment consortium with the Uruguayan state keeping the remaining 25%. From Toronto Bombardier Aerospace announced the signing of a contract to deliver seven CRJ900 NextGen regional jets to Pluna in a deal valued at 261 million US dollars. Pluna also has the option to buy eight more aircraft, which Bombardier estimates would boost the contract's value to 571 million. "This is a breakthrough order for Bombardier Aerospace and represents our first order for the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft in South America," said Bombardier regional aircraft president Steven Ridolfi. "The addition of the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft will enhance our ability to serve our regional markets with more frequent and more cost-effective service," said Pluna CEO Matias Campiani.