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An Aerolineas Argentinas A330-200 departs from JFK (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ben Suskind)

Argentina to Resume Flight Operations in Mid-October

The Argentinian Minister of Transport, Mario Meoni, confirmed on Thursday that in mid-October commercial flights will return and anticipated that the Government is “working to resolve as soon as possible” the normalization of activity.

During the inauguration of construction works in a train station in the Province of Buenos Aires, the Minister Meoni confirmed the resumption of cabotage and international long-haul flights on a regular basis, beyond the almost 150 special flights authorized for that month. Before COVID-19, there were usually more than 18 thousand flights in a regular month.

According to telam, domestic and international flights have been restricted since the declaration of stricter quarantine on March 20. Only special repatriation flights were authorized, in the first stage, and then special trips subject to the conditions established by the destination countries. At the local level, services are enabled to very few provinces.

“We have a scheduled date for the return of flight operations, we are trying to resolve it as soon as possible, but not later than October 12, or at the latest in mid-October, we will be operating long-haul and cabotage,” he said.

“At the moment there is a good number of international special flights to different destinations operating, but surely from mid-October they international operations will be resumed on a regular basis,” he added.

He pointed that the Government is “working to start applying the new sanitizing product in the next few days, tested in the railways with very good results, since it lasts over time and kills the virus, thereby eliminating the possibility of infections by touch”.

It is important to mention that Argentina continues to be the only major Latin American market, along with Venezuela, that has not reestablished regular flights in more than six months.

Meoni clarified that “naturally, the restrictions will continue depending on the level of COVID-19 infections”, and pointed out that “the governors and each of the authorities will have the power to limit the number of passengers”.

Several provinces would not receive flights, and only passengers with authorization to circulate for medical, family or for being considered “essential” could get on the plane. Initially only authorized passengers with a circulation permit could fly, not tourists.

Operations Planned by Argentinian Carriers

According to cronista, JetSmart plans to operate from Buenos Aires to Salta, Córdoba, Mendoza, Neuquén and Bariloche five times a week; to Iguazú, four, and to Tucumán, two; then the airline would resume other routes. The Santiago – Buenos Aires route will operate from Chile as soon as the Argentine authorities allow it, in October.

Flybondi, meanwhile, had already planned during the restart of flights to operate at 25% of its pre-pandemic capacity, depending on demand.

Andes planned to resume operations with three weekly frequencies on the two round routes Buenos Aires-Salta-Jujuy and Buenos Aires-Puerto Madryn-Comodoro Rivadavia, but the plan is subject to the conditions defined by the government, the provinces and the demand in the restart.

Aerolíneas Argentinas plans to operate regularly when authorities allow it but have not yet defined which routes it will operate.

Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
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