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COVID 19: Argentina’s flight ban extension puts LCCs in peril

Premium Analysis

Argentina’s decision on flight access – essentially to halt all air travel to, from and within the country until the start of Sep-2020 – is both baffling and worrying.

Few, if any, other countries have extended travel bans that far out in the future, and the move could create a precedent for countries deciding to adopt their own set of standards for the aviation sector in the aftermath of COVID-19, rather than using the normal channels for a more coordinated and organised effort. 

The decision has also created an extra layer of uncertainty over the future of Argentina’s start-up low cost airlines, which have not been warmly welcomed by the new government that took control of the nation in late 2019.

This latest development could wipe out Argentina’s young, but promising, low cost sector. State-owned Aerolineas Argentinas could be the last airline standing, as it appears Argentina’s historical tilt towards protectionism has returned. 

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