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Montevideo, August 15th 2018 - 10:49 UTC

Falklands chooses Latam as preferred operator for a second flight

Thursday, July 26th 2018 - 19:47 UTC
Full article 34 comments
Latam currently operates the only weekly commercial flight to the Falklands Latam currently operates the only weekly commercial flight to the Falklands
Passengers arriving at Mount Pleasant Airport terminal in the Falklands Passengers arriving at Mount Pleasant Airport terminal in the Falklands

The Chilean/Brazilian Latam airline has been chosen by the Falkland Islands Government as the preferred operator to provide a second commercial flight between the Falkland Islands and South America. The official announcement was made on Thursday, 26 July.

 According to the release, the airline has proposed a mid-week flight between the Falkland Islands and Sao Paulo in Brazil. Further negotiations with LATAM will include discussions on how the stop once a month in Argentina will be met.

Officials from the Falkland Islands Government will continue detailed discussions on the proposals over the coming weeks.

Finally, “future flight proposals will be shared with the public before a final decision is made by the Executive Council in September 2018.

The workings for a second commercial flight connecting the Islands with the continent was established in the 13 September 2016 Argentine/UK joint communiqué, which also included a constructive approach to South Atlantic issues, such as fishing, trade, hydrocarbons and shipping.

More specifically on the issue, the communiqué said that ”...both sides agreed that further air links between the Falkland Islands and third countries would be established. In this context they agreed the establishment of two additional stops per month in mainland Argentina, one in each direction. The specific details will be defined“.

On the basis of this the Falklands government contracted Aviation Economics, a specialist in aviation consultancy to help appoint a preferred airline operator to provide the second flight.

Likewise last February Argentina and UK jointly requested the governments of Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to assist in contacting airlines to communicate their interests in establishing a new weekly scheduled air service to and from the Falkland Islands. In March it was revealed to the Argentine congress that seven airlines had expressed an interest: two from Uruguay, two from Chile and three from Brazil.

And on 13 June the Falklands Islands Executive Council announced it had agreed to appoint a preferred airline operator to provide the second midweek flight, and ”detailed negotiations will now begin, however at this stage the identity of the preferred operator, as well as the discussions, will need to remain confidential for commercial reasons“.

”The final decision on the way forward will be made by the Legislative Assembly and ExCo in the next few months, but this will not be before August, to allow sufficient time to conclude discussions”

The new air link is expected to be operational in October this year where it will complement the existing weekly Latam airlines operated service between Mount Pleasant Airport and Punta Arenas, Chile, which stops over in Rio Gallegos, Argentine Patagonia once a month.

Top Comments

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  • Islander1

    Think,
    That was common knowledge at the time-Pinera refused to do it and told her to do it herself (by cutting the overflight permit) . It was the Arg Vets and Families Assoc who then persuaded her not to cut it herself as they did not want to loose their flight option to and from.

    Joe Bloggs - It will be nothing to do with Brazil - its a multinational Airline - no Brazilians living and working here to be cut off - that may have influenced Pinera,s decison a bit as lots of Chileans here. Brazil could not give a monkeys *** either way.
    And it would not be Brazil - what can easily happen is either by ticket price- or simply stopping the overflight - Arg can in future get rid of the direct link to Chile. Would not really bother Latam(that flight although profitable is probably 0.01% something % of their annual turnover!).
    Then Arg says to airline - you route through BA every week - in return we give you some prime slots for other flights. Then maybe a bit later says to Airline - look you already have daily flights SP-BA - so don't bother starting the Falklands flight in SP - Just do it as a separate flight start and end in BA. - cheaper for all!
    Then it is the Falklands who have to make the decision! And UK will say - your choice and you made it - no need for us to bail you out militarily again.

    Have our commercial external communications once again under total Argentine control and thus accept the flight.
    Or - refuse the flight and fall back on just a few seats on the RAF flights and - imagine where out economy-income etc will go?

    Unlike some of our Elected Leaders - the Argentine Govt is not so stupid! They can play for time as this link will give them the opportunity over time.

    Falkland Lad- and how long do you think before the flight has to divert a few times into BA for “technical reasons”?
    Or do you trust Argentine Govts?

    My Bet is that in 20 years time I could be right.

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 09:30 pm +4
  • Islander1

    Think, It was indeed well known and reported, and confirmed by reliable sources. She asked Pinera - and he said he does not interfere in commercial business Chile has an open commerce. Contacts in Arg families Assoc later confirmed they had put their concerns to Christina - and she clearly listened to them.
    Well recorded - and backed up with the usual quiet confirmation from diplomats on all sides

    DT correct- remember the demo well - was asked by some Chileans for the loan of some FI flags for it- happy to oblige. That was about the time /maybe just before the lady went to Santiago.

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 12:56 am +4
  • falklandlad

    Islander1, Arg has never changed its xtal ball regarding its perceived sovereignty claim, and apart from the military excursion in 1982 (when lets face it there was not a lot of support in UK politics for the islands – even Mrs T was embracing different politics until March of that year). The islands have lived with that claim, dodged much, survived an awful lot and got plenty of optimism, hope and opportunity to shout about since the fishery success in 1987. That requires building upon. Arg too needs to reach out, isolationism plays little part in internal politics and trade these days and socialism (and private coffer filling) seems to have had its day in the southern cone.
    The FI needs to build on opportunity; the 2nd flt provides one such pathway. Bloggsy says pros/cons change depending on who one last talks to! He’s correct. Where would the FI be if ’99 hadn’t reinstated LAN (now LATAM). There were plenty then, who wanted to pillory MLAs and revert to monthly steamboat connectivity to Montevideo, but since all have basked in the sun, enjoyed medical care and other benefits.
    Elsby (not everyone’s cup of euthanasia tea), nailed LegAssy colours to the mast when interviewed by ex-MLA Short when he stated resolution on prices, routes and other factors would be agreed and ready for approval in Sept. The Arg won’t like the end resolution; definitely a large portion of humble pie in the making, but on the other hand as Arg reaches out for OECD m/ship and other niceties (keeping the IMF at close qtr) it becomes impossible for to sustain isolationism at home and push isolationist policies onto the FI.
    Today, is not a repeat of Cllrs rolling over to the 1971 comms agreement (you’ve got your dates mixed up) and the 1974 fuel agreement. Both in many respects made 1982 inevitable, as a few years later population shrinkage would have triggered “last one out switch off of the lights”. Opportunity has propelled the FI forward. To continue.....

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 02:54 pm +3
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