The Government, through the National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC), has already authorized 100 exceptional flights to different international airlines with the aim of facilitating the return of Argentines stranded abroad after the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic.
Authorities estimate that there are some 25,000 Argentines stranded abroad and seeking to return to Argentina. For this reason, the 18 special flights that Aerolíneas Argentinas has already scheduled, Other flights by foreign companies will also be added, such as Iberia, Latam, Air Europa, Emirates, Quatar, TAM, Luthansa, Air Belgium, Gol, Ethiopian Airlines and American Airlines. Also the low cost Chilean JetSmart.
The people who can access the special flights are, first of all, the passengers of Aerolineas Argentinas who had purchased tickets and who canceled due to the border closure restrictions established by the Government. This is with tickets with return dates until March 31, which is the date of restrictions for flights arriving in Argentina that was announced by the president. Alberto Fernández.
But passengers with canceled flights from other airlines will also be able to access. In this case, if it is a member company of the SkyTeam alliance, it is the company itself that has to request a “rescue” from Aerolineas Argentinas for those passengers. “It is the mechanism for those cases because of the agreements we already have,” company sources explained.
In the event that the flights are from other companies outside the alliance, these companies must present a form for each passenger, so that they can travel on the Aerolineas Argentinas flight. That form (FIM) is what allows the trip to be made.
Finally, passengers who do not have canceled flights —for example, those who have return dates after March 31— or who do not have purchased tickets directly, must wait for space on those special flights and pay a fee of 550 euros in the case they fly from Madrid and USD 500 for those coming from Miami.
It should be noted that Aerolíneas Argentinas programmed a total of 18 special repatriation flights. Among them, a new frequency was confirmed to Miami, San Pablo, Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Cancun. There will also be 10 special flights within Argentina.
In total, there are seven flights already scheduled to Miami, four to Madrid, two special frequencies to Lima, two to Rio de Janeiro, two to São Paulo and one flight to Cancun. “The decision arises from the cancellations of other companies in that destination, which prevented many Argentines from returning in a timely manner,” they explained from the flag carrier.
In terms of seats, there are 4,000 new seats that Aerolineas Argentinas made available for the return of Argentines to the country. From the last Friday until the arrival of the first special flight from Miami this Thursday, there are 5,600 Argentines who have already returned to the country.