Argentina's National Civilian Aviation Agency (ANAC) Thursday terminated the so-called inter-change agreement with Chile's DGAC dating back to early July 2019, which benefitted the now-defunct LATAM Argentina airlines.
As per that accord, the local subsidiary of the Chilean-Brazilian consortium was cleared to serve destinations such as Miami with Argentine crews but with Chilean-registered aircraft.
LATAM Argentina was operating an ageing Boeing 767 which needed replacing by January 1, 2020, because it would no longer be allowed into the United States' airspace. At the time, aviation unions raised objections “from a political point of view” but stayed mum about technical issues, which were covered by the so-called “double watch” accord with Chile and even some strikes were staged.
The carrier requested to lease newer aircraft from its Santiago headquarters or terminate the route if the option was not available. That route meant a source of income for 50 pilots and 150 cabin crew members,.
The APLA pilots' guild viewed the “interchange agreement” as a transfer of Latam Argentina routes to other subsidiaries of the group.
Although almost symbolic now in 2021 with Latam Argentina gone, aviation unions celebrated Wednesday's unilateral termination of the agreement by ANAC Chief Paola Tamburelli through a letter addressed at her General Raúl Jorquera Conrads of the DGAC dated Tuesday “after the extensive struggle that the Argentine pilots carry out together with the United Aeronautical Trade Unions, the agreement between the aeronautical authorities of Chile and Argentina is annulled, at the request of LATAM and promoted by the former Minister (of Transport, Guillermo) Dietrich,” said APLA union leader Pablo Biró in a statement.
The unions also linked this accord to matters of sovereignty tarred by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera's recent decision to set out by decree that his country had territorial jurisdiction over territorial waters Argentina claims to either own or be of international domain.
Also on Tuesday, Chile's Senate okayed bilateral air services agreements with Finland, Israel, Turkey and Qatar.
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