Relatively sad news, everyone. It looks like those low-cost flights about to hit the Argentine market won’t be that low after all. According to Clarín, low-cost airlines in Argentina will not be allowed to offer fees lower than the ones that Aerolíneas Argentinas offers for domestic flights.
And the Transportation ministry confirms that those rates, currently in place by Aerolíneas Argentinas, will not go down anytime soon. As it stands, those are the cheapest flights available anyone could buy from Aerolíneas when trying to fly to Córdoba or Rosario. The new airlines will not be able to offer a better deal, in a move set by the government in an effort to discourage “predatory competition” (or “predatory pricing.”) Basically, the government doesn’t want Aerolíneas Argentinas to go broke because everyone is flying the competition. It’s also put in place to bring calm to unions in the airline sector who were already unhappy with the arrival of companies such as Avianca and Flybondi, both of which start operating next month.
But the commercial director of Avianca, Hugo Díaz, remains optimistic and, while he tells the newspaper that his company will abide by these regulations, he highlights that when it comes to ticket sales there is no ban against operating in several payments.
“We plan on charging AR $600 a one-way ticket to Rosario. We could offer a 24-month payment plan so customers end up paying 29 pesos a month.” That possibility, he says, helps Avianca reach a market segment that currently thinks flying is our of their reach.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.