IATA in talks with Argentina over blanket flight ban

IATA believes the Argentinian government is "open" to reconsidering a total ban on commercial flights through Sept. 1.

IATA officials are in talks with Argentinian ministers in hopes of persuading the government to bring forward its ban on all air travel and the sale of flight tickets.

The Argentinian government blindsided the industry when it announced the ban—to, from and within the countryuntil Sept. 1 as part of measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. It is the only country in the world to extend travel and border restrictions beyond early July—a move IATA says will have an almost $1 billion revenue impact.

The travel and tourism sector in Argentina contributes 10% to the nation’s GDP and generates 9.4% of the jobs in the country, securing employment for around 2 million people, according to studies by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

IATA regional VP, Americas, Peter Cerda gave an update on the situation May 15 during a regular media briefing on Latin American aviation. He said a “fruitful discussion” had taken place with Argentinian officials. “They are open to analyzing and possibly opening up. There is no commitment, but we established a group to look at the issue and to ensure there is a reactivation plan. There will be another meeting next week to use scientific reasoning to find a reasonable restart date before Sept. 1.”