Argentine government announces four new low-cost flights

The Milei government says it wants to stimulate competition and promote creation of more cheap flights as part of its ‘open skies’ policy

New Aerolíneas Argentinas plane. Source: AA social media

Denizens of Buenos Aires will be able to fly low-cost to beach city Mar del Plata and the Chilean city of Concepción, while people in Córdoba will be able to fly to Asunción, Paraguay, following the opening of four new flights by regional budget airlines, the Infrastructure Ministry announced Friday.

The new routes have been established following the launch of President Javier Milei’s “open skies” policy, which removed a requirement for at least half of flights within Argentina to be operated by the national carrier, Aerolíneas Argentinas.

Flybondi, which became the first low-cost carrier to operate in Argentina in 2016, has already started flying the Buenos Aires-Mar del Plata route. It is the first time a low-cost airline has run the route, and the first flight was 90% full, according to a statement by the ministry. It added that the company expects to establish more new routes soon.

Chilean low-cost carrier JetSmart will start operating a direct flight between Buenos Aires and Concepción, in south eastern Chile, while Paraguayan Paranair is expected to connect the neighboring country’s capital, Asunción, with Córdoba thrice a week, both starting in March.

Brazilian carrier GOL will open a new international route between Buenos Aires and Bogotá, Colombia, starting in April.

Argentina’s flagship carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas announced separately that it will start to fly between Resistencia, capital of Chaco province, with Puerto Iguazú in Misiones province, 13 years after the route was last flown by the extinct carrier Aerochaco.

The ministry said the “open skies” policy aimed to achieve “greater competition in the markets, reach new low-cost routes and promote a wide offering of flights at affordable prices.”

Milei’s mega-decree repealed national air travel regulations requiring at least half of national flights to be operated by Argentina’s state-owned flagship carrier. The decree also allows foreign planes with foreign crews to operate flights in the country. Minimum pricing regulations designed to prevent a race to the bottom were also abolished.


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