Argentina Bans Commercial Flight Sales Until September
The National Aviation Administration of Argentina announced on Monday that is blocking the sale of commercial flight tickets until September 1, 2020. The move comes amid the country’s coronavirus response.
The travel industry criticized the decree for the impact it will have on airlines and travel industry jobs. In an already difficult environment, industry insiders argue this will likely lead to thousands of people losing their jobs.
“It has been understood to be reasonable to set September 1, 2020 for the purpose of rescheduling regular operations or requesting authorizations for non-regular operations of passenger air transport subject to the effective lifting of restrictions imposed on commercial air transport and operating modalities,” the decree by the National Civil Aviation Administration said.
Part of the decree’s aim is to prevent airlines from ticketing flights not approved by the government.
The government of Argentina claims airlines were selling tickets for flights not authorized by the government. The government believes the decree is necessary to prevent those sales from happening. The country already banned travel from countries with considerable rates of infection, including China and the United States. Argentina also banned European countries from travel to the nation as well.
On Saturday, President Alberto Fernandez announced he was extending the national lockdown until May 10, 2020. Johns Hopkins University reports that Argentina has 3,892 cases of coronavirus and 192 deaths.
The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) criticized the order, claiming it “affects the future of the entire commercial aviation value chain in Argentina and the region, including domestic and international airlines, tourism and related sectors, putting at risk thousands of jobs. Also, Argentina’s connectivity with the world, as well as its domestic airline network which is vital for the transportation of essential supplies and the economic and social well-being of the nation, is being put under threat.”
The organization said airline’s need to continue paying about 50% of their fixed cost while not generating any income. The dilemma is likely to impact the airline industry, and the order further hinders their ability to make money. Tourism contributes to about 10% of Argentina’s Gross Domestic Product and generates 9.4% of the jobs in Argentina, according to the ALTA press release.
This will likely have a significant impact on the airline industry and tourism in the country. This is likely to only further impact the industry, particularly in a country that gets 10% of its GDP from tourism. As Argentina bans commercial flight sales, it demonstrates the actions governments will take even at the expense of their travel industry. This is not a criticism. But it demonstrates the actions governments will take in response to this pandemic. From stimulus packages, to travel bans, to social distancing, these policies will likely continue.