Argentina's total ban on flights through Sept. 1 questioned

Argentina’s decision to ban all air travel and the sale of commercial flight tickets until September will have an almost $1 billion revenue impact, IATA has warned.

The Argentinian government blindsided the industry when it announced the ban on ticket sales to, from or within the country until Sept. 1.

The country closed its borders to non-essential international travel on March 20 to halt the spread of COVID-19, but there has been no explanation as to why it selected Sept. 1 as the lift date or why ticket sales have been prohibited. Argentina is the only country in the world to extend travel and border restrictions beyond early July.

The travel and tourism sector in Argentina contribute 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.

Briefing media April 30, IATA regional VP-Americas Peter Cerda said extending the ban to September will cost $3.2 billion in lost revenue versus the $2.2 billion impact forecast if travel restrictions were to be lifted in May.

“Other airlines in the region have plans to restart in mid-May or June,” Cerda said. “All other countries have allowed tickets to continue to be sold … Argentina is a very large country and a very important transport market.”

Photo credit: Airbus / A. Doumenjou

Karen Walker

Karen Walker is Air Transport World Editor-in-Chief and Aviation Week Network Group Air Transport Editor-in-Chief. She joined ATW in 2011 and oversees the editorial content and direction of ATW, Routes and Aviation Week Group air transport content.