The Argentinian government expects to resume commercial flights between October 12 and 15, according to Transportation Ministry, Mario Meoni. He said that the country is working towards restoring connectivity as soon as possible. But, is there a chance that Argentina pushes back again its reopening date? Let’s investigate further.
There’s no certainty
While Meoni claimed that Argentina would open up its airspace in mid-October, there’s no guarantee of that. He said,
“We have a possible date for the resumption of flights, we are trying to resolve it as soon as possible, and not delay further than 12 or 15 of October. We will operate long-distance and domestic flights.”
He added that domestic flights are essential, but that the Argentinian provinces’ regional governors will have the last word. Currently, Argentina has over 765,000 COVID-19 cases, and it is in the Top 10 worldwide in that regard.
Additionally, in mid-March, Argentina closed its airspace, trying to prevent a massive outbreak of COVID-19 cases in its territory. It didn’t work out. In the meantime, the airlines in the country have been grounded. LATAM Argentina already ceased operations, and the government is merging its two State carriers: Aerolíneas Argentinas and Austral.
IATA asks for a date
The lack of certainty from the Argentinian government is driving the aviation industry crazy. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that keeping Argentina closed like this is not sustainable or good for the local economy.
At some point, Peter Cerdá, regional vice-president of IATA for the Americas, said that Argentina would lose key connectivity as Venezuela did a few years ago. It’s now seven months since Argentina closed its airspace. This South American country holds the record worldwide in this regard, said IATA. A couple of days ago, Cerdá added,
“The airlines need certainty, so we ask the Argentinian authorities to follow the lead of other countries in the region that have already resumed operations.”
In South America, Brazil and Ecuador opened their airspaces first. Colombia and Bolivia have already allowed domestic and international flights. Peru and Chile will open up for international travelers on Monday.
Besides LATAM Argentina, Air New Zealand and Emirates have closed their bases in Buenos Aires. However, more could follow.
Argentina is pushing for a new tax
The Argentinian government recently introduced a new 35% tax for international passengers. Well, it wasn’t only for international passengers. The country is pushing a 35% tax on the US dollar. Since the airlines mainly operate with USD, the new tax will heavily impact its commercial operations.
Once again, IATA wasn’t happy about this tax. Cerdá said,
“The industry wasn’t consulted about this measure. It is a time when we have to generate incentives for travelers, not make them pay more. This tax will push more airlines out of the market.”
What will happen?
Considering the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Argentina may push back its reopening date again.
Nevertheless, carriers are already selling tickets for October. Aerolíneas Argentinas plans to operate 65 international flights this month. Still, until there’s an airplane in the sky, much can happen in Argentina.
Are you eager to travel back to Argentina? Let us know in the comments.