Saturday, May 18th 2013 - 03:30 UTC

Argentina forces cancellation of all Lan flights by suspending ground services

LAN Chile halted on Friday all its flights in Argentina until Saturday morning after the state company Intercargo which provides ground support for the airline, unilaterally decided to cancel the service despite court orders to the contrary.

Despite court orders to resume services, Intercargo refuses to service Lan aircraft in any of Argentina’s airports

Intercargo provides Latam’s biggest carrier, (now Latam following the fusion of Lan Chile and Tam from Brazil) with ramps at airports, passenger boarding telescopic tubes, luggage handling, manages passenger buses to terminals, cleans aircraft cabins, among other services. With the exception of Aerolineas Argentinas and American Airlines Intercargo services all other airlines operating in Argentine air terminals.

The Argentine service company which is managed by the state and more precisely by members of the political group La Campora that responds to President Cristina Fernandez son Maximo Kirchner alleges that tariffs in the current contract should be raised to comply with new government rules.

Intercargo claims Latam “doesn’t want to pay more than what was agreed initially” and currently has a debt of almost 40 million pesos (7.6m dollars). The company has also been warning Latam for months that it wants a review of the original contract signed two years ago and which expires March of 2014 with a monthly payment of 2.7 million dollars (32.4m annually).

However Latam says it has no arrears and has two separate (no-innovation) judicial decisions ordering Intercargo to resume the service, plus a 200.000 dollars daily fine if it does not comply.

But Intercargo apparently is ignoring court orders and has cancelled all services provided to Latam until the carrier does not accept to pay an additional 18 million dollars annually for its services. Confirming its determination passengers from a Lan Chile aircraft that landed in Bariloche Friday evening were left stranded on board for over two hours before they could descend.

Last March/April Lan had its first clash with Intercargo when they refused to provide the telescopic tubes for boarding passengers. Following the first court order Intercargo resumed the service but only in Ezeiza and insisted that Latam must pay an additional 18 million dollars for the whole operational package.

Lan Chile not only is Latam’s largest carrier but is among the short list of most efficient and profitable airlines in the world. The carrier has become the main (and formidable) competitor of the nationalized Aerolineas Argentinas, which is also managed by members of La Campora, the militant group headed by Maximo Kirchner.

Aerolienas despite government support and privileges, and recently incorporated brand new mid-range Brazilian aircraft, continues to run a heavy deficit which congressional reports indicate is close to two million dollars per day.

According to Clarin, Intercargo was intervened by the Argentine state (‘to ensure the continuity of services’) in December 2012 and is headed by Maria Emilia García, 29, a protégé of Deputy Economy minister Axel Kicillof, and despite the service group receiving 32.4 million dollars annually from Lan, is demanding the additional 18 million.

Kicillof who is one of the brains behind President Cristina Fernandez economic policy is a young brilliant technocrat but professes a blend of Marxism and Keynes with a strong nationalist emphasis and state dominance over the Argentine economy.

Intercargo’s attitude is seen as a further advance of the Cristina Fernandez administration against efficient Lan Chile, this time with the aggregate that it is the government which is in contempt of court rulings, from the moment it took over the company.

Lan Chile says 140 flights and an estimated 16.400 passengers have been affected by Intercargo’s services refusal.

In Santiago Lan Airlines officially informed that all flights to and from all Argentine airports as well as all Lan Argentina domestic operations have been cancelled until Saturday 09:30 in the morning.

“The company has been prevented from operating flights because of the unilateral decision from the Argentine ground services state company Intercargo to suspend the service it provides to Lan Airlines”.

An estimated 600 passengers were complaining at the Santiago airport because their flights to Argentina on Friday afternoon and evening had been cancelled, and there are no more seats available until at least Saturday midday.


43 comments Feed

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1 Troy Tempest (#) May 18th, 2013 - 05:02 am Report abuse

Is this part of CFK's scheme to 'enhance' air service for Falklanders, by replacing LAN CHILE???
2 Marcos Alejandro (#) May 18th, 2013 - 05:17 am Report abuse
Yes marionette, Tupolev fleet para todos :-)))
3 Troy Tempest (#) May 18th, 2013 - 05:36 am Report abuse

“Para todos”??

Well, in the end, just for Argentinians.

They're the ones that lose in the end.
4 trenchtoast (#) May 18th, 2013 - 06:15 am Report abuse
Some excellent reading here if it passed you by on this La Campora mob
5 Troy Tempest (#) May 18th, 2013 - 07:23 am Report abuse

thanks Trench
6 trenchtoast (#) May 18th, 2013 - 07:36 am Report abuse
“...Kicillof does not believe in the economics taught in the majority of the world.
He doesn't believe that increasing the money supply causes inflation. He doesn't
believe in lowering the rate of inflation, because this stifles the level of
[economic] activity. He doesn't believe in a competitive exchange rate and
exporting basic staples. He doesn't believe in INDEC [the national inflation
index]. He doesn't believe in the business climate. He doesn't believe in
journalists. He doesn't believe in anyone who criticizes him.”
7 Heisenbergcontext (#) May 18th, 2013 - 07:48 am Report abuse
Thanks trench. Read the link. Depressing, sobering.
8 Redrow (#) May 18th, 2013 - 07:57 am Report abuse
@ Trench

If those articles are even half true then Argentina can safely write-off the next few decades. I love the idea that being able to carry shopping bags means you would make a good ambassador, or that knowing the difference between interest and inflation would make CDK marvel at your economic prowess.

Are there any Campora trolls on here who would like to defend this shambles?
9 toxictaxitrader2 (#) May 18th, 2013 - 08:00 am Report abuse
thanks for that Trenchy explains a lot.
The road to hell is paved by good intentions
10 Heisenbergcontext (#) May 18th, 2013 - 09:23 am Report abuse
This is either the inevitable result of years of runaway inflation or simply extortion. Or both. It's either sinister or incompetence. Or both.
11 Steve-33-uk (#) May 18th, 2013 - 09:45 am Report abuse
'“Active Alarms” on the Chilean government to the crisis - Complaints over five hundred passengers who were suspended flights - SANTIAGO, Chile. - The conflict in Buenos Aires, between the company and LAN Network World, caused great excitement in the Chilean government and major setbacks more than 500 passengers at the international airport in Santiago.
Foreign Ministry sources told LA NACION that the incident quickly triggered alarms at the presidential palace of La Moneda, where President Sebastian Pinera ordered Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno personally keep informed of the scope of the conflict and the efforts that are performed at the consular level in Argentina. Above them, high expectations are encrypted in the visit of Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who will arrive on Monday to Santiago....'
12 Joe Bloggs (#) May 18th, 2013 - 09:50 am Report abuse
Today is the day (3rd Saturday of each month) that LAN makes the completely pointless and commercially unviable (not for LAN because the Argie Gov pays for it) stop at Rio Gallegos on the way to its passengers' preferred destinations in Chile.

Does anyone know if this flight will be disrupted today. What a laugh it would be if it didn't make the Argie stop.
13 British_Kirchnerist (#) May 18th, 2013 - 11:40 am Report abuse
#1 I thought that too from the headline, and she's tried so hard to play nice on that hasn't she, but keeps getting rewarded with a slap in the face, shame its had to come to this I thought, but actually if you read the article it doesn't seem to be anything to do with the Falklands...

”Intercargo was intervened by the Argentine state (‘to ensure the continuity of services’) in December 2012 and is headed by Maria Emilia García, 29”

One to watch perhaps? Anyone know if she's pretty =)
14 yankeeboy (#) May 18th, 2013 - 11:54 am Report abuse
Argentina needs LAN more than LAN needs Argentina. They should pull all the planes back to CHILE and let Arg deal with the fall out. There is not enough Aerolineas capacity to pick up the LAN passengers. They import all the jef fuel so they'll be dumping even more U$ into the losing business.
It will be another pain in CFK side and make more people angry.
The pot is starting to boil.
15 ElaineB (#) May 18th, 2013 - 12:19 pm Report abuse
@4 Everything we knew or suspected laid out in easy reference form. Thanks.

This is organised by La Campora ahead of Timerman's visit next week, right? So he will say something along the lines of, 'If you are going to keep flying to the Falklands we demand the extra millions even though we have a contract valid until next year and upheld in court. Or you can cancel the Falklands flight and we will stop breaking the law by holding LAN hostage and demanding the extra millions”.

How can anyone of sound mind support the actions of the Argentine Government in this case?
16 Audi Consilium (#) May 18th, 2013 - 01:42 pm Report abuse
@4 Thank you. It certainly has cleared up certain threads and comments I have read on this site'.
17 Troy Tempest (#) May 18th, 2013 - 02:01 pm Report abuse

“#1 I thought that too from the headline, and she's tried so hard to play nice on that hasn't she, but keeps getting rewarded with a slap in the face, shame its had to come to this I thought, but actually if you read the article it doesn't seem to be anything to do with the Falklands...”

“Tried hard to play nice”
“...slap in the face”
Really BK?
Astually, quite a determined strategy to undermine the Falklands, extort concessions and control access to the islands.
CFK, after blockading the Falklands and failing, wanted to stop LAN from providing an air link.
CFK government sponsored La Campora protests are organised against LAN for flying to Falklands.
Failing that too, she wants to replace LAN with her La Campora controlled airline that will transport Argentine and foreign passengers into the Falklands without recognising FIG and Immigration/Customs Control of the Islands.

The Falklands have quietly taken no notice.

Is that the slap in the face?

Now we have the very blatant extortion.

La Campora, the government propaganda and enforcement arm, owners of AA, the state airline, denies service to LAN in Argentina, shutting down their service, before Timerman heads to Chilé to demand Terms.

Is that “ playing nice”?

Very transparent, BK.
18 Conqueror (#) May 18th, 2013 - 02:15 pm
Comment removed by the editor.
19 Captain Poppy (#) May 18th, 2013 - 02:39 pm Report abuse
Lan is the only airline I fly when I am in Argentina. Not a chance I would ever fly Aerolinas.......the la campora airlines. The only airline were the mechanics tool of choice is .......duct tape!.
20 Heisenbergcontext (#) May 18th, 2013 - 02:44 pm Report abuse
18: None of the above is neccessary . The Argentine govt. is self-destructing so rapidly, and is so unwilling to acknowledge a mistake, that it will inevitably lose the next election, and if the new leaders want the respect of their neighbours none of the actions reported above will be repeated. The dignified, low key responses of both the Falkland Ilsands administration and the British Govt. are the best way to deal with this situation. Patience, the demise of La campora is assured.
21 Islander1 (#) May 18th, 2013 - 02:47 pm Report abuse
Joe - it would be hilarious if Lan cannot land In RioGallegos today on the way back to Punta Arenas from MPA - there are 15 Argentines here going back there, including provincial politicians from Chaco province who actually sat down across the table with the alleged “illegal non-existent” elected Members of the Falkland Islands Govt whilst they were here.
Am sure they would love to be dumped off in Punta and have to take a bus 3-4 hrs back to RioGallegos!!
22 Tobers (#) May 18th, 2013 - 03:33 pm Report abuse
La Campora is an organisation every bit as fanatical as Nazism of the early mid 1930's Germany. There is no doubt about that. Truly fucked up that this is going on in Argentina and why the hell arent other Countries in LATAM confronting this? Brazil - whats your true agenda?
23 Marcos Alejandro (#) May 18th, 2013 - 04:15 pm Report abuse
21 Islander1 That will increase our population in Malvinas, after all is Argentinian soil.
Did the colonial puppets in Malvinas wear a tuxedo for the event?
Or maybe they borrowed the colonial governor's feather hat.
Nigel laughs at your comment, he is in charge..
24 Captain Poppy (#) May 18th, 2013 - 04:18 pm Report abuse
They are Marxists. I don't think they know that communism died.....even China changed.....and it is still not really working with their semi based market economy. SA seems to think they know something more than the old China, USSR and the rest of the eastern bloc countries. The only real holdouts are Cuba and North Korea and they can't manage without handouts from China and Venezuela. At least China is only struggling to stop the slide, Cuba is dead. Cuba is trying to hang on until the Castro boys are dead and then expecting to open trade with the USA.

Marxism is dead.
25 Simon68 (#) May 18th, 2013 - 04:21 pm Report abuse
Fantastic own goal, CFK, if you cannot control your La Campora troops, at least tell them to concentrate on an enemy smaller than themselves, fancy taking on THE BIGGEST and most succesfull airline in South America!!!!!!!
26 Islander1 (#) May 18th, 2013 - 04:32 pm Report abuse
Marcos - God you are ignorant as well as thick!
Why would these folks want to spend another MONTH here until the next RioGallegos flight?? And would they have access to that many US Dollars to pay their bills??????????????????????
They will leave today regardless .

Guess you cannot read either - They asked to meet with the Falkland Islands Legislature - they did NOT ask to meet the Governor - whi is away anyway at the moment, why would they?.
They are a group of Democratically Elected Politicians from Argentina - who asked to meet - and met with -Democratically Elected Politicians from the Falkland Islands.
Politicians worldwide like meeting each other - why would they have wanted to meet a civil servant who has no authority over the things they wanted to discuss?
27 Math (#) May 18th, 2013 - 05:37 pm Report abuse
@22 I think Brazil is likely to help Argentina. Foreign policy speaks for itself: from Cesare Batisti to Castro. Sad truth.
28 Terence Hill (#) May 18th, 2013 - 05:46 pm Report abuse
Argentine respect for the rule of law. Breach of contract, contempt of court, and criminal extortion.
29 Redrow (#) May 18th, 2013 - 06:08 pm Report abuse
Where is Think?
Think, what is your view of La Campora?
30 Faz (#) May 18th, 2013 - 09:50 pm Report abuse
La Campora - the evil....
31 British_Kirchnerist (#) May 18th, 2013 - 10:10 pm Report abuse
#18 I would like to report this comment for rampant abuse; yet I also wouldn't mind if it stays up, it just serves to undermine its author and, if they don't denounce it, his side...
32 Captain Poppy (#) May 18th, 2013 - 10:44 pm Report abuse
Conqueror.....if you go the impale route, perhaps you can take a que from Vladimar Dracul. It impaled thousands as decorations and she rates a fine ornament at La Casa
33 HansNiesund (#) May 18th, 2013 - 10:58 pm Report abuse

You're right. It's sick.
34 Pete Bog (#) May 19th, 2013 - 12:03 am Report abuse
I expect LAN Chile can bribe Maximo to resume the ground handling service by supplying him with a Private Jet. A C17 could be acquired with a winch strong enough to haul Maximo in through the back, (a tight squeeze). The C17 would have to have two extra engines gaffer taped onto the wings to be able to take off with Maximo on board, but rocket assisted take off would be a plus if he takes his daily intake of pies onboard.
35 Chicureo (#) May 19th, 2013 - 12:10 am Report abuse
“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of crisis”
Saying that and being somewhat p*ssed about the way LAN is being harassed, I think Conquerer needs to be politely ignored as he's making his position somewhat clear to which side he stands for.
Personally I'm very satisfied that the loss in tourism and commerce due to this stupidity will hurt Argentina.
36 Ernie4001 (#) May 19th, 2013 - 03:01 am Report abuse
This is rather self destructive behavior since are less dollars coming into the argentinian economy. So, for the next holiday Brazil will be by far a better destination. Since Argentina is not a reliable an destination
This is a warning for everyone that could ever want to fly to Argentina, to avoid it.

Besides that, Chile must void flights of the flying rubbish called Air campora (AA).
37 Ayayay (#) May 19th, 2013 - 03:50 am Report abuse
So they have a contract.
38 trenchtoast (#) May 19th, 2013 - 02:51 pm Report abuse
Seems Latam had to pay Max the “pizzo” in the end and now Intercargo contracts are preferable to pesos in the arse wiping department
39 Troy Tempest (#) May 19th, 2013 - 05:56 pm Report abuse
What news on Timerman??

Any more events to set the stage, prior to his “goodwill” visit??
40 grimbler (#) May 20th, 2013 - 07:40 am Report abuse
I expect more dollars are urgently needed so Chilean currency is more easily converted into dollars anyway who would take Argentinian currency for anything other than to pay a bill already incurred nobody is going to be foolish enough to invest in Argentina at this time, currency implosion coming very soon now!
41 Usurping Pirate (#) May 20th, 2013 - 08:42 am Report abuse
You needn't worry to much about Maximo . The reason he is never seen in public is that he has seriously damaged himself through cocaine abuse .
Hopefully this whole pitiful shower will be gone in October .
42 ChrisR (#) May 20th, 2013 - 05:15 pm Report abuse
There will be 54% of the vote for TMBOA in October although it was in reality only in the low 30s last time.

The fix is already in; it just means TMBOA will need to bring some of her only money back to provide the graft. Seed corn money for the triumphant third term.

You think I am joking? Wait and see.
43 Brit Bob (#) May 20th, 2013 - 06:46 pm Report abuse
Airlines quite often have problems when operating in the third World. This is just another such case.

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