After almost eight months of being wholly closed, the Argentinian government is reopening the Jorge Newbery Airfield, the second most important airport in the country, on March 15. Several airlines, including Aerolíneas Argentinas, are already promoting their flights from this hub, located in Buenos Aires.
The importance of Jorge Newbery
Historically, the Jorge Newbery Airfield has been the domestic hub for Buenos Aires. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it only had one international destination, in Uruguay.
In 2019, the Airfield had over 11.5 million domestic passengers, leading the 40 most important airports in Argentina, according to local stats.
Buenos Aires is famously known for having three different airports. The Jorge Newbery Airfield mainly served as a domestic connector; the Ezeiza International Airport serves as the gateway for international travelers; and El Palomar International Airport, a former military base, was used by low-cost carriers.
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The COVID-19 pandemic shifted everything, though. The current Argentinian government forced the low-cost carriers out of El Palomar. It also closed Jorge Newbery temporarily.
Nevertheless, the Jorge Newbery Airfield did finish the year as the most important domestic airport in the country. It received 2.27 million passengers, an 80% decrease compared to the previous year. It was the only Argentinian airport to surpass the million mark of domestic travelers in the year.
But why was it closed?
On August 1, 2020, the Argentinian government shut down the Jorge Newbery Airfield. It is currently doing some repairs on the historic airport.
According to data provided by the Argentinian aviation authorities, it is doing the following:
- Repaving the runway
- Increasing the width of the runway by 20 meters and extend its length by 615 meters.
Once the repairs are done, the runway would have a length of 2,715 meters and 60 meters wide, allowing it to serve as an alternative for international flights. It will allow aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A330 to land here.
According to local reports, the costs of the renovations at the airfield will be approximately $62 million.
In February 2020, we reported that the Civil Aviation regulator of Argentina was allowing Jorge Newbery Airfield’s internationalization. Argentina would permit flights from Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru.
The airfield opens up in March
On March 15, Argentina will reopen the Jorge Newbery Airfield. Therefore, the Argentinian domestic airlines are already preparing for this date.
For instance, Aerolíneas Argentinas is already planning the international connectivity it will launch from the Airfield. According to local media, like Diario Hoy, Aerolíneas has scheduled flights to Lima (Peru), Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Montevideo (Uruguay), and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia). Plus, Aerolíneas will also operate its regular domestic flights.
At least one of the low-cost carriers in Argentina, JetSmart, will also operate from the Airfield. According to local media, Jetsmart will fly only domestic routes from this airport.
Meanwhile, the other low-cost Flybondi will continue operating from Ezeiza International Airport in the meantime. But, in the long run, Flybondi will shift its domestic flights to Jorge Newbery.
Have you ever traveled from the Jorge Newbery Airfield? Let us know in the comments.