After a several false starts, the owner of the new Cuenca airline Línea Aérea Cuencana, or LAC for short, was scheduled to begin service this morning. The first flight was from Cuenca to Guayaquil.
Luis Miguel Astudillo, LAC founder and owner, announced on Friday that the airlines had finally received the go-ahead from Ecuadorian civil aviation authorities. The necessary approvals had been dealyed for more than a year. Astudillo had first announced that the airlines would start flying in April 2012.
LAC will operate between Cuenca, Guayaquil, Quito and Loja, although the only Cuenca route will be to and from Guayaquil. There will also be Quito to Loja service as well as flights between Quito and Guayaquil. The airline has also applied for permission to fly to Latacunga.
The complete schedule is posted on the airlines Facebook page, www.facebook.com/lac.ecuador.
According to Astudillo, LAC begins operations with a single Bombardier CRJ 700 aircraft with capacity for 70 passengers. He says that the airline will add two more aircraft next year, at which time LAC will expand service to include Manta and Salinas.
The airline is offering a $99 round-trip air fare on all its routes.
The LAC website is www.lacecuador.com. The phone number for the Cuenca airport airline
office is 408 3494.
Bus exhaust monitoring program cranks up
Cuenca is monitoring exhaust level of city buses and the office conducting the tests say they will pull buses out of service if violations are extreme. The new program began on Thursday.
Dario Tapia, manager of the city’s vehicle review department, says that monitoring is aimed at reducing bus pollution. “They are the single largest contributor to pollution in Cuenca and our goal is to limit the amount of emissions that they cause.”
Tapia says that most bus pollution is the result of poorly calibrated engines but says that poorly trained bus drivers also contribute to the problem. “Fast starts and stops create more exhaust,” he says. He adds that the city is working with bus companies to increase driver training.
Emissions tests are being conducted using opacimeters, a computerized devise that records the composition of exhaust coming from bus tailpipes