Rescheduled flights and a general strike in Argentina: what you need to know

Transport unions are protesting on Monday, while all major unions are set to halt activities on Thursday

Several protests are set to take place this week in Argentina. Transport services — including flights — will be affected throughout Monday, while a new general strike will be carried out on Thursday.

Public transport will be most affected on Monday due to union assemblies. Workers met between 8 and 11 a.m. to discuss issues affecting their jobs as a way of protesting the approval of President Javier Milei’s massive reform omnibus bill in the Lower House. Public transport unions grouping trains, buses, and subways, but also air transport workers and truck drivers, are taking part in the protest.

Around 20 Aerolíneas Argentinas flights that were set to take off Monday morning from Aeroparque and Ministro Pistarini airport in Ezeiza were rescheduled due to union meetings that impeded normal functioning. Although activity should begin to normalize following the assemblies, you can check all flight status here just to be sure.

Unions grouping pilots, technical staff, airport employees, and Aerolíneas Argentinas workers took place in the assemblies. Passengers were notified ahead of time to avoid issues, Aerolíneas said in a statement.

Aerolíneas Argentinas is one of the state-owned companies the omnibus bill has earmarked for privatization. The Senate is set to begin discussion over the bill this week.

“Aerolíneas is not for sale; we have to defend it,” said a banner workers were holding at the Aeroparque entrance this morning while chanting the broader slogan, “Our homeland is not for sale.”

The Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers (CATT, for its Spanish initials) had initially called for a strike on Monday but eventually shifted for assemblies as their way to protest. According to CATT Secretary General Juan Carlos Schmid, this means that there won’t be any “direct actions” to halt transport services but that “problems” are to be expected throughout the day.

Schmid told Splendid radio station on Saturday that workers will discuss omnibus bill articles that mandate changes to union activities, labor negotiations, income tax, and pensions.

Subway workers union Asociación Gremial de Trabajadores del Subte y Premetro also carried out assemblies. They let passengers travel for free between 8 and 10 a.m. as a form of protest. This was done in stations San Pedrito and Plaza Miserere (A line), Federico Lacroze (B line), and Constitución and Retiro (C line).

Subway fares are scheduled to jump by 359% in May, going from AR$125 (US$0.13 at the official rate, US$0.11 at the MEP rate) to AR$574 (US$0.63/0.53). There will be two other price increases next month, taking ticket prices to AR$667 (US$0.74/0.62) and $AR757 (US$0.84/0.70) in June.

Train fares jumped by 54% on Monday, with prices now ranking between AR$200-320 (US$0.22/0.18-US$0.35/0.29) depending on the distance for passengers who have their SUBE cards registered under their name. Those who don’t have registered their SUBE cards will have to pay AR$400-640 (US$0.44/0.37-US$0.71/0.59) depending on the distance. To register your SUBE, you need a valid Argentine DNI. In case you are a foreigner and don’t have a DNI, you can go to a SUBE service center with your passport or a valid ID from your home country.

You may also be interested in: SUBE card registration mandatory to avoid higher bus and train fares

General strike

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT by its Spanish initials) called on a general strike for Thursday to protest against the omnibus bill approval. This will be the second general strike since Milei became president — the first one was on January 24, a month and a half after the new administration had been sworn in.

Like in January, most services are expected to be affected. The Aeronautical Technical Staff Association has already confirmed they will be joining the strike, downing tools for 24 hours.

Asked by the Herald, Aerolíneas Argentinas and airport operator Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 said that at the time of writing, no Thursday flights have yet been canceled or rescheduled.


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald