Argentina's Ambassador to Bolivia Ariel Basteiro Friday said his country would soon authorize the Boliviana de Aviación (BoA) flight from Viru Viru (Santa Cruz de la Sierra) to Buenos Aires carrying the 190 passengers of Venezuela's Conviasa stranded there.
The Airbus 340-600 received this week from Iran's Mahan Air had been diverted to Bolivian territory following the case of the Emtrasur Boeing 747-300 seized by Argentine authorities at the Ezeiza airport, which is also a former Mahan Air unit.
Both Mahan Air and Conviasa have been blacklisted by the United States citing links with terrorism operations. Emtrasur is a subsidiary of Conviasa.
Argentina's National Administration of Civil Aviation (ANAC) is expected to greenlight the BoA flight whereby Conviasa's passengers will complete their journey.
BoA has permission to operate nine weekly flights to Argentina. The special flight managed together with Conviasa is governed by a different agreement and requires a different permit processing. The request was made the same day and breaks the administrative guidelines. Let's hope that between tomorrow and the next day a special flight can be made, said Basteiro, who added that ANAC deals with charter flight requests within 72 hours from the moment the request is submitted. Although BoA is allowed to carry out nine regular weekly flights to Buenos Aires, charter flights go through different channels.
Argentina is conducting a probe to determine the alleged involvement of Emtrasur's 747 and its crew with terrorism.
Faced with this situation, Conviasa informs us that there are two options. The first is to return to Caracas and the second is to stay, they do not tell us until when, and that they are going to pay for the hotel. I know that a small group went back to Venezuela, and the rest stayed. We are not terrorists, we are Venezuelans who for the most part share the same history, we want to meet again, a passenger stranded in Bolivia told local media.