Argentina could resume international commercial flights in October, the transport ministry said, following the approval of the new passenger and airport protocols for international travel by the ministry of health, the requirement government stated previously for lifting a strict travel ban
The start of flights next month, both domestic and international would give companies the 30 days they need to prepare for the restart of their operations.
However “the president has the final decision,” Transport Minister Mario Meoni cautioned.
“In the next few days, we will be able to announce the return of international flights. All of this takes time because scheduling flights is not easy,” Meoni said at a public event.
The ministry would also submit a proposal to President Alberto Fernandez for the restart of domestic flights next month, Meoni added.
Argentina surprised the airline industry and passengers in April when it announced a total ban on commercial airline flights until September, one of the strictest bans in the world. Argentina has largely been in isolation since March 20 due to restrictions to stop the spread of the virus. The government has extended lockdown restrictions, including the flight ban, as it struggles to contain the virus.
Airline industry group IATA criticized Argentina’s decision to extend the flight ban, saying the country is now the largest market in the region where aviation remains suspended.
“Continued procrastination by the government will further reduce the country’s international connectivity,” said Peter Cerda, IATA’s vice president for the Americas.
“From an industry perspective, we would not want the country to become another Venezuela, which over the years has gone from being one of the key aviation markets on the continent to now having very limited international connectivity,” Cerda said