The Airports Council International – Latin America and Caribbean (ACI-LAC), the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are urgently calling on the Argentine authorities to consider the imminent and substantial risks represented by Resolution 144/2020 (Passenger Transport Authorization), which restricts the operation of aviation in the country until September 1, 2020.
This decision directly 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.
Similarly, Argentina’s airports will continue to face serious financial challenges, needing to remain open to serve air cargo and humanitarian flights, but without commercial passenger flights which generate at least 80% of their revenue.
We understand the complex situation that the government is faced with and that its number one priority is to guarantee the health and safety of the population. However, we see it as our responsibility to express the industry’s deep concern regarding this resolution, especially since no consultation process took place.
This resolution goes against all stakeholders’ efforts to safely re-establish commercial aviation activities, which provide an essential service for the population. Under the regional and global coordination of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the aviation industry is developing an air traffic recovery plan, in accordance with the strictest health and safety standards and requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO). We are more than happy to continue our collaborative approach and provide the relevant authorities with constant updates on the progress of these discussions.
Argentina needs air transport to support a wide range of its economic activity. The travel and tourism sector alone contributes 10% to the nation’s GDP and generates 9.4% of the jobs in the country, securing employment for around two million, according to studies by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). This is a fundamental sector for the socio-economic well-being of the population.
Each job in aviation generates four additional jobs in related industries. It is an important engine for the economy of the countries in the region and, undoubtedly, a sector that will drive economic recovery once the health emergency is over.
We are faced with an extremely complex scenario, in which airlines still need to cover about 50% of their fixed costs, while not generating any income. Unfortunately, many companies in the sector will not be able to survive if this resolution is implemented as planned. Therefore, we reiterate our call for a timely dialogue with the relevant authorities in order to ensure the survival of the sector, in support of the country’s overall socio-economic well being.