Argentina’s National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) revealed preliminary data for the first quarter of 2022, showing a 32% recovery in passengers compared to the same period in 2019.
The international market continues to recover globally, with values hovering around 40% according to the latest IATA report covering up to February, but some markets in the region such as Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Colombia have already recovered around 80%.
Although still far from pre-pandemic levels, the supply of flights between Argentina and Brazil continues to grow
Argentina is gradually recovering
The Argentine international market was affected by multiple variables, since, although foreigners were allowed to enter again in October last year, they had to have a complete vaccination plan, medical insurance covering COVID expenses and an RT-PCR test. But since March, these restrictions have been relaxed.
See also: Argentina will allow the entry of unvaccinated foreigners without PCR test or isolation and will rehabilitate all border crossings
On the other hand, Argentine citizens were prevented from traveling to Europe and the United States if they had doses of Sputnik-V when more than 50% of the population has been inoculated with one or two doses of the Russian vaccine.
In addition, to this must be added the economic situation of the country, suffocated both by the effects of the pandemic and by a devalued Argentine peso and inflation that has been out of control for more than a decade, together with additional taxes of 65% suffered by those who acquire foreign currency or make purchases abroad.
To a lesser extent, the lack of several routes and airlines that have not returned (nor announced plans to do so), such as Air New Zealand, Azul and Qatar Airways, is also felt.
During the first quarter of 2022 in Argentina, 1,325,742 passengers were mobilized on international flights, which marked a 67.92% drop compared to the same period in 2019 when 4,133,485 passengers flew.
In line with the decrease in restrictions, March saw a growth of 17.35% with 487,349 passengers compared to January, when 415,272 passengers had been mobilized.
The airports of Buenos Aires (Ezeiza and Aeroparque) account for 91% of international passenger arrivals and departures in Argentina.
The insignificant offer of international flights from the interior of the country caused Cordoba and Mendoza to have 5% and 4% respectively. Ushuaia, Rosario and San Fernando have less than 1%.
During the first quarter, inland airports mobilized 126,103 international travelers, 79% lower than the same period of 2019 when there was a flow of 617,324 passengers.
Airlines and connections to start in 2022.
During the first quarter, the return of Aerolíneas Argentinas to Salvador and Florianópolis and Flybondi to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro stood out.
In the interior, Air Europa and Copa Airlines resumed their flights to Córdoba and Rosario, respectively.
After a six-month suspension, Ethiopian Airlines resumed connecting Argentina with Africa via Brazil.
British Airways decided to fly non-stop to London/Heathrow (LHR), leaving the stopover in Sao Paulo/Guarulhos (GRU). Finally, KLM resumed its traditional consolidated flight between Amsterdam, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile at the end of March.
Links that resumed during the first quarter and the others to be confirmed for 2022:
During the rest of the year Aerolíneas Argentinas will double its commitment to the Brazilian market after returning to Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Brasilia in April. At the same time, it will have a wide offer linking Sao Paulo with the interior of Argentina, including Salta, Córdoba, El Calafate, Ushuaia, San Martin de los Andes and San Carlos de Bariloche.
The state-owned airline will also resume flights to Italy in June and will do the same to Cuba starting in July.
ITA Airways will join the connection between Italy and Argentina after replacing its predecessor Alitalia.
Regarding Brazil, GOL will resume its scheduled flights to Mendoza and LATAM Brazil to Bariloche with charter services.
VIVA will be the newest carrier in Argentina, with flights to Medellin and Bogota starting in June.
So far, we would close the last quarter with the return of Emirates from Dubai and Rio de Janeiro, but we cannot rule out the possibility of further developments during the course of the year.
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