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Falklands chooses Latam as preferred operator for a second flight

Thursday, July 26th 2018 - 19:47 UTC
Full article 34 comments

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. Read full article


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  • falklandlad

    Sounds like some common (if not pragmatic) sense has prevailed. Seat pricing detail will ultimately determine punters buy-in potential.

    Jul 26th, 2018 - 08:14 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Islander1

    Not quite Falklandlad - SaoPaulo is the route the Foreign Office London and Argentine Government want.- because it will inevitably -over time - fall under Argentine control with a route via Buenos Aires. Not initally of course - but after 5-10yrs certainly- landing there every week, with a future Arg Govt stopping the overflight permit to the one from Chile and thus giving them total control over us as again as pre 1982..
    The subsidy required will be massive as such a long flight and of no use for tourism - and its tourists who will put the bums on seats.
    A flight from Santiago in comparison would most likely become commercial and profitable within 2 years - and meanwhile in winter the airline could easily drop the existing Sat flight and just do the direct one as flights internal in Chile are not expensive so Chilean folks from Magallanes could route via Santiago
    Right Airline- but wrong route,Brazil passing close to Buenos |Aires will be political suicide for us.

    Jul 27th, 2018 - 10:57 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • shackleton

    Why not Montevideo..?

    Jul 27th, 2018 - 05:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • falklandlad

    Wow, Islander1, I don’t follow your (il)logical thought. Sao Paulo as an international hub has been in the option game for 2 decades (or more) by various parties, some even home grown. Businesses, in recent times actively spoke out about how much easier and efficient island access would be; a faster route time from Europe (or USA) which lends efficiency and minimises carbon foot-printing (a good thing?). Of course, there is a balance to maintain as the existing status quo enjoys defacto regional political acceptance, despite the unfortunate 98/99 blip orchestrated Jack Straw’s support to arrest Mr Pinochet. Look where that pushed the islands! MLA Elsby is said to have stated that positive and beneficial detail, including seat pricing, all being resolved in September.
    For travellers who take the SCL-PUQ option because there is none other, relief is likely to prevail, with a reduction or striking out of all the seasonal travel and logistics constraints, year-on-year, for years. Some tourists just want a flip-through visit, for others a 2-week visit is too long when adding in the 2-4 days of international travel time. Forget the bananas; it’s a requirement to have certainty of seat availability for travelling bums, but not just only tourists. We probably presume too much at this time – detail is missing. Who can x’tal ball “Buenos Aires” as the link in 5-10years time? Anyone?

    Jul 27th, 2018 - 07:19 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Islander1

    Falklandlad,Give me one example where the Arg crystal ball has changed in the last 36 years?
    They still want our homeland lock-stock-and barrel. And if we don't like it - we would have to get out - never mind if we have been here fo 2 or 185years.. There is only ONE thing that has changed since 1982 - Arg no longer chucking explosives around in the sky - other than that- No Change - nor is there ever likely to be.
    Give one reason why they would-whats the gain for them? They are not daft - they know - they can play the long game. Falklands is O. something % of Latams business - do they care about us? Of course not - usefull while they make a small profit out of the Saturday route- but if Arg withdrew the overflight it would not really bother Latam one iota.
    5-10 yrs down the line- easy - Arg puts economic or political pressure on Latam to cut the Chile route - then easy to persuade Latam to make the Brazil flight stop and BA every week (some juicy primeslots for Latam longhaul in and out of Ezeiza etc).
    Then we have a choice- Accept Argentine 100% control over our communications (as per 1982) - or we cut the link and have NO flight to S America at all.
    What effect would that have on the economy and life standards etc?

    Seat pricing? - don't be naïve like Eslby - its along costly flight- Latam will say - cheap seat no problem - just up the subsidy! They are a BIG successful multinational airline and a damn good one I, BUT - we are pretty irrelevant on their book. Santiago- daily flights to Australia-USA-Canada-Europe-Africa- and twice a week non stop to Heathrow.

    Jul 27th, 2018 - 09:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jo Bloggs


    Why couldn’t Argentina simply exert the same pressure on the Chilean route now? Why wait for the Brazilian one?

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 01:01 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Islander1

    very simple- and Mrs K very nearly did-first she tried to get Chilean President to order it- he refused saying commerce is up to commerce, then the Arg Veterans pointed out that they want and need to come here. And if she cut Lan then all Argentine passport holders would end up banned from the Islands same as they used to be.
    She saw sense and backed off.
    very easy though for Arg to cut off the Chile route once they are in control of the Brazil route with their people still able to come that way - which is easier for most of them anyway.

    The FCO in London will be ordering drinks all round - this is the route they have wanted as end game will be the solution to the Sov dispute and they will have their hands clean- it will have been the Islands themselves that end up letting Arg have control.

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 02:39 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • GALlamosa

    Its the right route to achieve improved connectivity, and probably the right airline, though FIG will have to find ways to regulate pricing. It was never the FCO who identified Sao Paolo as the best route, it was us and our advisers. There is an important decision to be made about where the once a month stopover is; I have always favoured an airport adjacent to the Valdez Peninsular as the most likely to generate additional tourism activity. Islanders assertion that there is no tourism potential through Sao Paolo has no basis in fact; some/many people know better.

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 08:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Islander1

    GA- I am not expert in Tourism - so I talk to those here who are- and that's what they tell me.All US and Canadians routing that way would have to obtain and pay for a a Visa first-in case of flight delay because of rotary winds here.Majority of Br.and European tourists who come here by Latam combine it with hiliday time in Chile-(Easter Is-Atacama-TorresdelPaine etc)- all adventure/wildlife similar to FI- a package that combines and sells and currently limited by lack of seats/flights with Chile. Brazil tend to be beach and sun holiday- does not match/combine with Falklands adventure type. Right Airline-Wrong place and the Political risk is too high.

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 10:04 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jo Bloggs

    There were pros and cons with most of the options and people I spoke to ‘in business and tourism’ didn’t all agree on the best option. In my opinion they all had their own interests at the top of their lists and those those interests only and their particular interests meant that different options suited different businesses.

    I’ve been told several times by those that should know that São Paulo will be a disaster for fruit and veg because it’s too big and nobody will want to supply us. But I can’t buy that. It sounds like some work will be required to establish new commerce links and maybe some people don’t want to have to make the effort. Maybe somebody else will make the effort.

    I also can’t buy the concerns (by some) the visa requirement will mean we won’t see tourists take up the route. Brazilians are by far the most prolific travellers throughout South America. I’ve met and seen herds of them all over Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park. I can’t accept that tourists won’t come that way.

    My personal preference was one of the other airlines; a very different type of offer but I decided either one would achieve what we need. Who knows, the other option may get another chance next time we look.

    I do hope the local LATAM ‘agency’ smartens itself up though. Customer service has taken a serious dive in that place over the last few years. Luckily booking this route online has become more advantageous than it used to be.

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 12:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • 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 - Link - Report abuse +3
  • DemonTree

    Carry on...

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 03:45 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • falklandlad

    Businesses require sustained growth and opportunity (check the Business Climate Survey results); the single LATAM flt cannot deliver that now because it has outgrown itself and become a seasonal victim of its own success. As for airline (LATAM fantastic, very safe and reliable) and route stopover – anything other than Buenos Aires. MLAs have adamantly stated that city is not any route option. Shouldn’t we have confidence in MLAs to deliver on promises made, even when full negotiating hands should not have been so eagerly revealed in Sep2016. This scenario has to play out to FI national economic benefit. Doesn’t it?

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 05:32 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Think

    Mr. Timlander1...

    I must say that I'm happy you grow buterheads..., crispheads..., romaines and other crispy stuff and are not in charge of the FIG(leaf's) Argie department...
    You are a tuff nut with a clear understanding of South Atlantic realities...


    Would you please inform me where you got the strange idea (fake news?) that ***“ Mrs K tried to get Shilean President to order the Punta Arenas/Monte Placentero flight cancelled and that he refused saying commerce is up to commerce and that she saw sense and backed off...? ”***

    Thanks in advance for your attention..
    El Think...

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 06:32 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Jo Bloggs


    Deadbeat Think, above, reminded me. I didn’t finish our conversation about Chile vs. Brazil as the most likely country through which the Argentine Government could force a cessation of the flight. I remember the time Crisis Fernandez de Kirchner tried to convince Chile to play funny buggers with our flight. She even announced ahead of time that she was about to go over to Chile to do it and that she’d be ‘making a big announcement about it next week.’ If memory serves me correctly that was 2013. Well that big announcement never came.

    So I get that, Chile stood up to her but why don’t you think Brazil would tell Argentina to foxtrot Oscar?

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 07:46 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Islander1

    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 - Link - Report abuse +4
  • Think

    Mr. Timlander1...

    Ahhhh... ***“ Common Knlowledge ”***

    The usual way people who have been “fake newed” excuse themselves...

    Do me (and yourself) a favour Tim...
    Check your “ Common Knlowledge ” sources...
    I Think..., you will find out that you have been duped...

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 10:27 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    Is this the incident Islander1 is referring to?

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 10:49 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • 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 - Link - Report abuse +4
  • BrianFI

    Think, loooooool how embaressing loooool. You thought it was fake news LOL. She said it in front of the UN LOL. FAKE NEWS?!?!?! HAHAHAHA what an indoctrinated moron you are, you argies aren't the brightest are ya? do some research next time you ignorant argie

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 01:11 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • DemonTree

    Do you know who made that big banner they had in the picture?

    That article only says that she threatened to stop the flights in a speech at the UN, not that she did anything about it, and doesn't even mention Piñera.

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 10:00 am - Link - Report abuse -4
  • Think

    Mr. Timlander1...

    You say..:
    ***” It was indeed well known and reported, and confirmed by reliable sources. She asked Pi(ñ)era - and he said he does not interfere in commercial business Chile has an open commerce.... Well recorded - and backed up with the usual quiet confirmation from diplomats on all sides “***

    I say...:
    Sorry mate..., but fact is that..., what you describe above..., was NOT recorded at all... and was backed up by the usual unrecorded ”confirmation“ from unidentified..., anonimous ”diplomats“ on all sides ”***
    In plain Engrish...: HEARSAY...

    Have a nice Sunday
    El Think...

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 01:24 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • falklandlad

    Tut, tut Islander1 – are you joking, trust an Argie govt? Never! Is there a single issue in which islanders can say that Argies deliver on promises? Perhaps, and then only just mildly, the reinstatement of LAN in ’99, but really because it provided a cheaper and more reliable access for Arg veterans and families (later Arg tourists – now a big tourism growth segment). But, all the other agreements over the years (pre and post ’82) don’t stand the stress and strain of one Argie political party to the next, so you are right to be concerned about the post-Marci era potentially commencing year end 2019.
    Chrissie might not (and hopefully wont) return to the Pink House stage, but some other Peronist nutter will, unfortunately. I wish Macri well; he has a vertical political mountain of at-home detritus to climb presently, as reported in Merco elsewhere, and the FI sovereignty (and related issues) are only unwelcome distractions given his critical national agenda.
    However, what now seems to have occurred, is that MLAs “may” have jumped the gun on Thursday; perhaps not taking into fullest account a necessity to bring LATAM on side, if it prior notification of the statements imminent release was not filed. Hopefully there is no lurking LATAM embarrassment, but I fear that may not be the case. Regional Latin politics are fickle at best, and more so when tempered by commercial intricacies and Latin red faces.
    Indeed, the Argies can afford to play a waiting game, I agree, but cementing in enhanced structural consolidation to FI economy (tourism, agriculture, fish and oil) clearly has to be the first MLA game, not debating a 20-year scare mongering vision. Why? Well, quickly slipping back 20 years ago, could you have modelled LANs 737s being superseded by A319s/A320s? Prior to ’98 FIG constructed a subsidy liability draw down (never utilised) to offset any commercial failing of the 737s. Fast forward the next 20 years? Islander1?

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 02:57 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Jo Bloggs

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 03:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    Mr. Jo Bloggs...

    Mr. Timlander1 and humble me are discussing the “fake news” diffused all around the Islas Malvinas about a certain...: ***“ Mrs K. trying to get Shilean President to order the Punta Arenas/Monte Placentero flight cancelled and that he refused saying commerce is up to commerce and that she saw sense and backed off... ”***

    You respond by linking to a “News Agency” article (written in potential, by the way...) from where these fake news originated...
    A “News Agency” identified by your own “Falkland Islands Association” as being one of their own instruments...

    Do me (and yourself) a favour Jo...
    Check your “ Fake News ” sources...
    I Think..., you will find out that you have been duped...

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 04:40 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Jo Bloggs

    Poor old Think...

    Chuckle chuckle.

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 05:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Is this a better source for the story?

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 07:06 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Jo Bloggs

    That’s just ‘HEARSAY...’

    Chuckle chuckle

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 07:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Islander1

    F.Lad- FIG did subsidize Lan in first winter after 96 - then selfsufficient. Same would happen if new route SCL-MPA them existing tourist traffic etc would add up and become economic in couple of years. Doubt that would happen with SP route though and bigger cost subsidy.
    JoeBloggs-Produce freight is not easy! Been doing it for 25yrs averaging 60,000-75,000kg air a year so know a bit.. Needs a good Agent who can source quality and sanitary produce from small producers up to Int standards, then consolidate and carefully pack and compete all exportation controls and paperwork - and Govt Depts that are able to handle multiple products in small quantities in one shipment without tons of paper. Chile has the worlds biggest exporter of fresh produce has systems in place with all producers big and small and packhouses for this.Typically 1200kg - but 25-30 products in thatsome maybe only 1-2kg of!. Then Agent must be in close instant contact with Airline Freight Dept and customer and growers- as may start week with 1500kg space - then more passengers book midweek and space suddenly down to 800kg- once delivered and bought-customer has to pay even if it cannot fit on plane as most products not suitable for return. Even on departure day-maybe passengers arrive with excess baggage- down goes freight again-unreturnable now so FI Importer has to take the hit.
    This we can work with Chile as small practical nation with little beaurocracy and good flexible work attitudes and very little if any corruption. All professional advice says this is N0T the case with Brazil
    Some products already banned for direct import from Brazil for good Biosecurity reasons.Others we like don't grow in Brazil climate anyway. Tried suppliers contacts through UK Emb offices in Brazil and through Brazil Embassy in London. To date - good ones are big and only interested in containers, little ones cannot meet standards and have little interest.

    Jul 30th, 2018 - 02:52 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jo Bloggs


    Well I hope there is a solution because unless something dramatic happens now it looks like the operator and route has been chosen bar the stop. If Brazil doesn’t work out for you as a supply route, hopefully it will take enough off the Santiago flight so that you can get more cargo capacity on the Chilean route. Do you think that’s a possibility?

    There must be a reasonable amount of pax flying to the Falklands from say Europe and Australasia that don’t care whether they route via Chile or Brazil but want to come here on the best possible day to suit their plans and without too much of a layover anywhere.

    Jul 31st, 2018 - 12:58 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    Benvenidos a Buenos Aires..., Kelpers...

    Jul 31st, 2018 - 06:02 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Jo Bloggs

    You wish, old man. We’ll take no second flight at all before taking that...

    Chuckle chuckle

    Jul 31st, 2018 - 09:45 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Think

    In the meantime..., I'll take the good auld Patagonian approach to that issue...
    “Wait & See”

    Jul 31st, 2018 - 12:59 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Islander1

    Jo- same day direct nonstop flights from London and other places in Europe to either Santiago or SaoPaulo - via Chile estimate about 2hrs more flying time - that is all.

    Its no want the punters want that makes the difference - Do WE want to risk our political future and our right to live in and govern our Islands in future just for sake of a couple of hours airtime?
    One route is politically “safe” in this respect - and one is NOT.

    Bulk of tourists who come here combine it with a holiday in Chile- as similar “expeditions” type adventure tourism- Brazil for European tourists = largely beaches and sun - thus not a good selling “package”.

    Produce freight- yes perhaps would free up some space - but still same old problem- routed via Punta means a 2 day delay from high perishables delivered Santiago airport to arrival Falklands, If direct flight from SCL - those high perishables could arrive here in less than 24hrs from checkin.

    Aug 01st, 2018 - 09:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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