Photo via ticotimes.net

In a press conference held at Casa Rosada yesterday afternoon, Macri reaffirmed his approval of incorporating low-cost airlines into his National Commercial Air Plan. The plan originally planned to add 135 routes across five airlines, mostly connecting Buenos Aires and Córdoba to smaller airports across the country and some nearby international stops, including Santiago, Chile and Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Once in motion, Macri predicts the new airlines will help create new jobs for Argentines and will actually strengthen Aerolíneas Argentinas, introducing new businesses to the market and improving aviation infrastructure in Argentina.

Alas del Sur, American Jet, and Andes have been approved, after demonstrating flight plans and capabilities. Flybondi’s status is pending but is expected to be approved after showing a purchasing contract for the planes needed for Argentine service. They were approved for the most flights (78), so it’s not unusual that it will take time for them to make purchasing arrangements.

However, Avianca’s contract is more complicated. The last of the five airlines has been suspended, over concerns of a conflict of interest between the company, the Argentine government, and the Macris. The airline would have connected Santa Fe, Rosario, Viedma, Puerto Madryn, Comodoro Rivadavia, Concordia, and Sunchales.

Opposition to the low-cost contracts comes from Victory Front-PJ (FpV-PJ) leader Darío Martínez: “Several crimes have [allegedly] been committed in the Avianca case, such as the traffic of influence.”