The arrival of low-cost airlines in Argentina is one step closer to becoming a reality, but not everyone is happy about it. Both Aerolíneas Argentinas — the State run airline, and the different unions within the sector expressed their concern after five firms presented their routes and investment plans during the public hearing held yesterday morning in front of the Argentine Civil Air Navigation Administration.
Juan Pablo Brey, general secretary of the Argentine Association of Pilots, said they “have been against the ‘open skies’ policy for years because it threatens employment and national companies” ability to compete. He added that unions will support the national airline and pointed out the new carriers should sign a collective employment agreement to prevent workers, and their salaries, from becoming the “variable” that helps keep prices down, as Latam, Sol and Andes did. Brey concluded his statement saying they now expect a call to meet with Guillermo Dietrich, the Transportation Minister, to further discuss workers’ labor conditions.
The pending arrival of low-cost carriers to the Argentine market was one of the major points of contention that is thought to have led to Isela Costantini, the former CEO resigning from Aerolineas Argentinas. Companies like Andes, FlyBondi, Avianca, Alas del Sur and American Jet are throwing their hats in the ring and are attempting to carve a niche out for themselves among consumers who appear more than ready to welcome the competition.