SAM to return Avro RJ100s

Colombia’s wretched economic conditions are forcing SAM Colombia to return its fleet of nine Avro RJ100s to BAe. SAM has been flying its RJ100s on an intensive domestic schedule linking outlying Colombian cities with Bogotá, as well as to regional destinations, since 1994. However, economic conditions in Colombia have significantly reduced demand for air travel. The economy is expected to experience negative growth this year, for the first time since the 1930s. The Colombian peso has already been devalued twice in the last year, and further devaluations are expected. Continuing threats from guerilla groups have also significantly affected travel within the country, especially after they hijacked an Avianca Fokker 50 in April and took its passengers hostage. SAM and BAe Asset Management have agreed on a schedule for the return of the RJ100s. The first aircraft (N505MM msn E3242) arrived at Woodford on 2 September, and a second (N506MM msn E3244) on 20 September. The rest of the fleet will follow, with the last arriving in February 2000. BAeAM is negotiating with several airlines interested in acquiring these aircraft, including Braathens Malmö Aviation.

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