International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s Regional Vice President for America Peter Cerda Friday said Argentina was doing just the opposite compared to the rest of the world regarding aviation services and that such mercurial management might entail unwanted consequences.
Airlines are said to be evaluating lifting their Argentine routes after the government decided to restrict the number of passengers through international airports down to 600 a day in a move allegedly aimed at keeping the Delta coronavirus strain at bay, which resulted in several flights being denied landing rights.
Cerda pressed for the lifting of the measures that brought the daily number of international airborne travellers down from 2000 to 600 through a decree which expires July 9.
He warned that carriers may choose to leave the Argentine market, because while “the world is opening up” and “learning to live with Covid” they have been forced to adjust their flight schedules as per the initiatives of local officials.
Cerda said in a radio interview there was no certainty “on what will happen after July 9,” but he added that “nowhere else in the world do flights need to be rescheduled every 15 days.”
They are trying to control the pandemic, which is logical,” Cerda explained. But “what they are controlling is the passengers,” he added. These decisions leave airlines in the middle of a conflict of whch they are not apart.
“Putting a cap is not going to help the situation and puts passengers who need to return to the country at a disadvantage. This quota at the logistical level is very difficult. The airline has to prepare to move passengers. That change without any kind of coordination affects us all,” he added as he warned that faced with such complexities airlines may “choose to leave the Argentine market, because Argentina is the only country that has a limitation of passengers per day.
The airline industry leader also explained that “We went from having 9 to 2 flights per day.” He went on: “We cannot work this way. Argentina is implementing a measure that is unique in the world.”
Cerda also said he hoped to discuss the issue with Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero. “He is the right person to handle this situation that the air system is experiencing but also the citizens who are outside the country,” Cerda pointed out after a meeting between the two of them had been cancelled Thursday.
“Leaving a market takes 30 minutes, flying again in a new market takes many years to materialize. The government has to change the rules of the game,” Cerda insisted.