La Línea Aérea Cuencana, or Cuenca Airlines (LAC), has not flown in or out of Cuenca for four years but it could return to provide Cuenca-to-Guayaquil service.
A committee of municipal council members are in discussions with LAC about returning to Mariscal La Mar Airport to provide daily service to Guayqauil. LAC is currently based at the Latacunga airport where it is a charter carrier, flying most to the Caribbean.
Council members as well as Cuenca business officials say the 60-day suspension of flights by government-owned Tame Airlines is “unacceptable,” and say they have little confidence in the airline’s promise to resume flights. “Their record of on-time flights is very poor and the incompetence of their pilots closed the Cuenca airport for two months last year,” says hotel owner Raul Vera. “It is better than nothing but we deserve something better.”
According to councilman Iván Granda, LAC is willing to take the Cuenca-Guayaquil route but requires a fuel subsidy to make the commitment. In addition, he says, the airline would need expedited approval from the Directorate of Civil Aviation to reinstate its license to fly the route. “Several things need to happen quickly for an arrangement to be worked out,” Granda says.
Granda says that city council members are continuing discussions with LAC, airport authorities, and the civil aviation directorate.
When it was formed in 2012, LAC announced it would fly to Loja, Quito and Guayaquil, but relocated to the Latacunga airport after the government ended fuel subsidies. The airline operates two Canadian-made Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft, each with a capacity for 70 passengers.