MIAMI – According to International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional Vice President for the Americas Peter Cerdá, Argentina may remain closed for domestic and international flights until 2021.
In a statement, he said “What we’re hearing and seeing, although there’s a lot of information that always circulates in the news, is that the lockdown may continue to next year. So, we’ll see if Argentina remains closed through the end of this year and into 2021.”
The statement follows the shutdown of LATAM Argentina (4M), the cessation of Air New Zealand (NZ) service between Auckland and Buenos Aires, the merger of Aerolíneas Argentinas (AR) and Austral Lineas Aéreas (AU), and the suspension of both Qatar Airways (QR) and Emirates (EK) service.
The South American country is currently among the top ten countries in the world in terms of COVID-19 cases.
A Prolonged Shutdown
The potential pushback to 2021 follows previously anticipated reopening dates of September 1 and October 12-15 coming and going without change while the citizens of Argentina cannot expect to travel much during the summer season.
Mario Meoni, the Transportation Minister of Argentina, originally stated that in October some flights may be allowed for essential workers.
He further added “There are appropriate conditions to allow flights in some provinces, and we are looking to do so. Naturally, we have to see how the pandemic evolves, but, at this point there is hope.”
The minister also said that “over ten governors [have] requested flights”, demonstrating a provincial desire for more transportation before further adding that Argentina would not allow international travelers to enter.
It is unclear as to when Argentina will reopen to both domestic and international commercial air traffic, yet it is clear that travelers in Argentina will be at a loss for the summer season.
Featured image: Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus A330-200 reg: LV-FVH Photo: © Max Taubman – @maximumaviation