This year, Aerolíneas Argentinas is turning 70 years old. To celebrate it, the carrier launched a new logo and a whole new connectivity plan that will allow it to connect the entire country. Let’s investigate further.
Aerolíneas Argentinas faced a difficult road
The Argentinian airline was founded on 7 December 1950. Juan Domingo Perón, then president of Argentina, signed a decree that mixed together four existing airlines: ALFA, FAMA, Zonda, and Aeroposta. This is the reason that the name of the carrier is Aerolíneas Argentinas, using the plural.
During its first forty years, the airline was somewhat successful. It received awards for its onboard service. Aerolíneas also pioneered intercontinental travel and was the first Latin American carrier to start using commercial jet airliners.
In 1990, Iberia acquired the Argentinian carrier, which led to disaster. Aerolíneas Argentinas was bankrupt by the turn of the century. American Airlines even handled it at some point.
The darker years of the airline were between 2001 and 2008. Finally, the Argentinian Government acquired the carrier and has just about managed to keep it flying, although not without controversy.
Where is it now?
Pablo Ceriani, new Aerolíneas Argentinas’ CEO, said in an interview with Télam,
“Today we have the challenge to bring back Aerolíneas Argentinas to every Argentinian. We have to collaborate in the economic development of the country.”
To do it, the carrier has launched several strategies, ranging from the political side to the operative one. Firstly, it managed to convince its government to open Jorge Newbery Airfield to international traffic once again.
Aerolíneas Argentinas also retired its A340 fleet last month. As of last year, the airline had 50 domestic and international routes. It also served 14.5 million passengers over the year.
Last week, the airline increased 40 frequencies and launched three new routes: San Pablo-Bariloche, Mendoza-Bariloche, and Resistencia-Iguazú. Previously, it also announced new frequencies to Madrid and New York.
Is the future bright for Aerolíneas?
For this year, Aerolíneas Argentinas will have several activities to celebrate its 70th anniversary. On Twitter, it will launch the hashtag #Aerolíneas70Años. The celebration is a bit tarnished, though, by fleet problems.
— Aerolíneas Argentinas (@Aerolineas_AR) March 3, 2020
The Argentinian airline is one of the four carriers hit in Latin America by the MAX crisis. Currently, Aerolíneas has five Boeing 737 MAX parked. Boeing has produced 12 more since March 2019.
Pablo Ceriani thinks the MAX problem is already resolved, from a technical point of view. Now is a matter of bureaucratic affairs. He said,
“Boeing thinks they will have it approved by midyear. But they might have to delay it even more because the European authorities will not be easily convinced, and even less the Asian authorities. At this moment it is just a bureaucratic deal, more than anything. In the meantime, our fleet has had due maintenance.”
Meanwhile, Aerolíneas Argentinas is working on a five-year plan. Ceriani believes the right connectivity and profitability go together. But he also advised that in the short term there might not be enough profitability.
“In order for the routes to be profitable, they need to have time. We are betting on new routes, on bigger connectivity. Perhaps this traffic won’t be profitable in the short term, but in the big picture we are making the company economically sustainable.”
We can only hope that Aerolíneas Argentinas succeeds. Have you traveled recently with Aerolíneas Argentinas? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments.