Aerolineas Argentinas will merge with Austral into a single company, announced today the president of the flag line, Pablo Ceriani, in a letter addressed to the workers of the company.
Although Aerolineas and Austral were part of the same group, they operated as two independent companies, and the merger process could be completed by the end of the year, according to reports.
In the letter, it is explained that “The global crisis caused by the Covid-19 has had a full impact on the aero-commercial industry and we do not know how long this situation will last. Everything indicates that there are still several critical months ahead, months without income, or regular operations; which means a tremendous impact for our industry and the economy in general. Without income, and I reiterate, we do not know for how long, many airlines in the region and in the world will disappear. ”
And he continues: “The effort that the National State makes to sustain the company is on the verge of being impossible. That effort is that of the entire society and, now, that society urgently demands state aid to survive in the face of this pandemic that plagues humanity. The State invests in its flag carrier because it generates economic and social benefits that multiply the investment made. But in the face of such a deep crisis, even beneficial investments are prioritized. ”
The merger, in turn, will allow the creation of a new business unit to provide aircraft maintenance to other companies and industry players with an independent logic and that will take advantage of the company’s reputation for safety, international certifications with the ones it has and the infrastructure it has.
Likewise, progress will be made in the creation of a cargo business unit, which will take advantage of the experience gained by the company on its cargo flights to Shanghai, since it in turn represents an old outstanding debt of the company regarding the development of a unit. specific for the transport of merchandise.
A little history
The merger of Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral announced today, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year once approved by the shareholders’ meeting, unifies two long-standing companies that were fundamental in the country’s economic development.
Airlines was created on December 7, 1950 through a decree of the then President Juan Domingo Perón, becoming the main air transport company in the country.
In early 1965, four Boeing 707 aircraft were purchased for long-haul travel, and a year later it made the first nonstop flight between Buenos Aires and Madrid, in 11 hours and 31 minutes, thereby reaching the world speed record for the epoch.
The company was privatized in the early 90’s and in 2008 it became part of the National State again, which promoted a major renewal of its fleet.
For its part, Austral was founded in 1957 with the aim of providing regular services to Argentine Patagonia. It passed into state hands in 1980 and when the menemism arrived, in the early 1990s, it became the instrument that allowed the alienation of Airlines at the hands of the Spanish Iberia.
In 2008, the five companies that make up the Airlines Group (including Austral) returned to the hands of the National State.