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Montevideo, May 27th 2017 - 15:46 UTC

Falklands actively seeking flight options, including some avoiding Latin America

Friday, May 19th 2017 - 06:11 UTC
Full article 104 comments
Argentina indicated in negotiations of the Joint Statement, September 2016, that their sole proviso was that the flights include a monthly stopover in Argentina Argentina indicated in negotiations of the Joint Statement, September 2016, that their sole proviso was that the flights include a monthly stopover in Argentina
Currently the Falklands are linked to Chile with a LATAM flight, which routes via Rio Gallegos on a monthly basis. Currently the Falklands are linked to Chile with a LATAM flight, which routes via Rio Gallegos on a monthly basis.
Despite positive discussions in London in December 2016, Argentina has to date not advised Brazil and Chile that there is no objection to the proposed flight routes. Despite positive discussions in London in December 2016, Argentina has to date not advised Brazil and Chile that there is no objection to the proposed flight routes.

The Falklands government, FIG, is actively seeking additional commercial flight routes to assist in the future development of the Islands, and is working on a number of options.

 At the moment the Islands are linked with a weekly commercial flight from Chile, and the UK Defense airbridge, and one of the options programmed is an additional flight to the continent, preferably to Sao Paulo, as part of the September 2016 Joint Statement with Argentina, but despite having agreed Buenos Aires still has to communicate Brazil it has no objections to such a link.

Given this scenario FIG is actively considering whether other options can be commercially viable, avoiding Latin America and Argentine influence altogether.

FIG on Thursday published an update on flight options for the Falklands:

The requirement for additional airline routes to and from the Falklands has been an element of the Falkland Islands Government Economic Development Strategy for some considerable time. Despite the temporary closure of the Ascension Island runway, we are reassured that the Ministry of Defense Airbridge will continue, via alternative stopover airports. However, as a Ministry of Defense run flight, it will always have limited civilian passenger capacity.

The only public commercial airline route to the Falkland Islands, with LATAM, is currently configured every Saturday from Santiago via Punta Arenas, but it is at capacity during the busy summer months. Whilst it is secure at present, there have been past threats from Argentina to stop it using their airspace. We are therefore actively seeking additional commercial flight routes to assist in future economic development of the Falkland Islands.

It is against this background that the Falkland Islands Government has been working on a number of options to increase capacity to and from the Falkland Islands.

The Joint Statement of July 1999 set out the basis for future flights between the Falkland Islands and the South American continent, and subsequent discussions opened the way for a regular midweek flight to and from Brazil (Sao Paolo) or Chile (Santiago).

Argentina agreed that there was no impediment to these flights taking place. The attraction of these routes for the Falkland Islands is that they provide significantly improved international connectivity with the least economic risk – particularly the Sao Paolo route.

The Government of Argentina indicated in the negotiations leading up to the Joint Statement of September 2016 that their sole proviso was that the flights include a monthly stopover in Argentina in each direction (like the current LATAM flight, which routes via Rio Gallegos on a monthly basis). The Falkland Islands Government would have preferred for routes to be determined based on commercial demand, to and from Argentina as required, but agreed that a monthly stopover could be included in the planning.

Argentina agreed to inform the Governments of Chile and Brazil that they had no objections to such flights taking place.

Despite positive and more detailed discussions in London in December 2016 on these proposals, the Government of Argentina has to date not advised the Governments of Brazil and Chile that there is no objection to the proposed flight routes.

For fear of reprisals, these governments, and their respective airlines, are not prepared to risk substantive discussions without such reassurances. We are not currently aware of any progress on this issue.

Direct flights to and from Argentina have been suggested by various operators, but in the view of Falkland Islanders, these represent a security risk. The lack of progress to date on previously agreed actions appear to bear this out.

The search for additional capacity has created interest from several other non-Latin American destinations, in Africa, the Caribbean, the USA, Europe and directly from the UK. Shorter flights from Chile and Brazil are clearly and demonstrably commercially viable in all seasons.

The Falkland Islands Government is actively considering whether any of these other options can be commercially viable, thus avoiding Latin America and Argentine influence altogether.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Roger Lorton

    Argentina's revisionist historians have done the Argentine people no favours. Now they see history through warped spectacles. Enforced by the continuous policy of indoctrination; it is hardly surprising that they cannot see further than 1833. The same year that Spain repeated to the Americans, its own claim.

    Spain v Britain. Argentina was never on the field.

    Posted 6 days ago +9
  • gordo1

    Marcel Kohen

    1.) Please see a previous thread ”Brazil states RAF Hercules flights from or to Falklands are “humanitarian motivated”. There clearly has been NO abuse.

    2.) There is no sovereignty dispute to settle. If Argentina were so sure of it's risible claim it would have taken it to the International Court of Justice.

    3.) Common sense indicates that the Falkland Islanders should choose and decide their preferences for flights to and from their territory without any pressure or influence from Argentina or individuals such as yourself.

    4.) The Falklands archipelago is located in the South Atlantic - many kilometres away from South America and, thus, has nothing to do with South America neither geographically nor politically!

    5.) Please take you empty rhetoric elsewhere.

    May 19th, 2017 - 01:53 pm +8
  • Terence Hill

    Marcelo Kohen
    The “alleged sovereignty” issue integrity“ predates UN law and therefore cannot be applied to a retroactive claim.
    ”...The rule of the intertemporal law still insists that an act must be characterized in accordance with the law in force at the time it was done, or closely on the next occasion. ...
    The Acquisition of Territory in International Law By Robert Yewdall Jenningsa Judge of the International Court of Justice from 1982. He also served as the President of the ICJ between 1991 and 1994
    paragraph 80 of the ICJ Kosovo Advisory Opinion that states, 'the scope for the principle for territorial integrity is limited to the relationship between individual States and does not impinge on the right to self-determination and independence.'
    What is legally binding is the views of nations of 1833 then, not one nation supported Argentina's claim their “silence” is indicative of support for the UK. Any change of opinion post 1945 is merely a none-binding political vox populi decision. As legally they are estopped from claiming later a different position. 'Allegans contraria non est audiendus (Jenk. Cent. 16): “He is not to be heard who alleges things contradictory to each other.” This elementary rule of logic expresses, in technical language, the saying that a man shall not be permitted to “blow hot and cold” with reference to the same transaction, or insist, at different times, on the truth of each of two conflicting allegations, according to the promptings of his private interest. Says the Satyr, if you have gotten a trick of blowing hot and cold out of the same mouth, I've e'en done“ with ye.' en.wikiquote.org/wiki
    How ever you want characterize it. Argentina is still in violation of International Civil Aviation Convention.

    Posted 5 days ago +8
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