Argentina Bans All Domestic and International Flights until September 1st

The decision has sparked an outcry from the industry.
Fabienne Lang

Argentina has taken a stricter turn amid the coronavirus outbreak and on Monday declared that all domestic and international commercial flights to and from the country would be banned until September 1. 

Authorities have stated that airlines should not be selling tickets for flights that most probably won't take off in the upcoming months. 

The aviation industry is up in arms about the decision, as hundreds of thousands of jobs are now at stake.


Argentina's measures

Argentina has taken tough measures amid the coronavirus outbreak. Back in March, the country closed its borders to non-residents and placed strict quarantine measures. The plan is to ease the lockdown starting from May 10.

Currently, the South American nation has under 4,000 cases and 192 deaths, as per Johns Hopkins University numbers. 

On Monday, the National Civil Aviation Administration of Argentina issued a decree that bans all commercial flight ticket sales to, from, and within Argentina until September 1, which is deemed as a "reasonable date." The Administration stated that the decree was aimed at stopping the sales of flights that were not approved by the Argentine authorities. 

The decree, however, was met with resistance. The international aviation agency, IATA, sent a letter to the Argentine government in which it said these decisions went against their bilateral agreements and placed over 300,000 jobs at risk in the country. 

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ALTA, a group that lobbies interests of South American and Caribbean airlines mentioned that the decree had not been "agreed within the industry." As the group stated "The resolution ... was not shared or agreed with the industry and, furthermore, runs counter to the efforts of all the actors in the sector."

Many countries in South America have suspended international commercial flights, but none for as long as Argentina.