Due to the restrictions on flights, there are 1,400 new stranded per day and the airlines have not yet defined when they will be able to return

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At least until July 9th entry to the country by Ezeiza will be limited. The funnel it’s getting narrower and this time Only 600 people a day will be allowed in. It is calculated that this is the number of passengers that would enter three daily flights, although there could be more if they are planes that do not depart full from the cities of origin.

The decision generated its first negative blows at dawn yesterday, when it was learned that dozens of Argentine passengers were in the Tocumen airport, in Panama, because they had not been able to board a plane that would arrive in Argentina just 20 minutes after it went into effect the new norm. Finally, the Government ended up authorizing the return for “humanitarian reasons”.

TN.com.ar spoke with companies, chambers and the National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC), in charge of authorizing flights or not, and reconstructed everything that is known so far about the new government provision.

How many passengers are at risk of not being able to return?

Of 2000 passengers a day that could enter before, now only 600 will be able to do so. Thus, 1400 people a day will be “stranded”. Taken to July 9, it gives a total of 17,000 base people.

But also, the Government estimates that there are around 45,000 Argentines abroad todayAlthough it is not known if everyone will want to return in this period, since many may have gone abroad to study, for example.

How many flights enter per day?

The Chamber of Air Companies in Argentina (Jurca) initially estimated that there will be three daily arrivals. However, if flights are not filled to capacity, the capacity of 600 people it could be spread over more planes.

So far, some airlines have reported only two flights or only one approved for this period (as Latam), while Aerolineas Argentinas suspended 60 of the 90 sections it had until July 11. At the end of this note, there were companies that had not yet reported their itineraries, such as KLM and Air Europa.

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When will the people who are abroad today return?

The short answer is: it is not known. Airlines are still accommodating their schemes And, although there are other flights that still remain, there will not necessarily be space for all its passengers. For example, sources from Aerolineas Argentinas assured that several passengers could return before July 9 “if there is room”, but for the moment there are full flights; it will depend on which seats are released.

“If there are three daily flights, it is clear that the return will not be able to happen in the next 15 days”, Felipe Baravalle, Jurca’s executive director, told this medium. This morning, in dialogue with radio MetroPaola Tamburelli, head of ANAC, pointed out that “no one can say exactly when they will be able to return.”

What do the “new stranded” have to do?

Those who have a flight in the next few days must wait for communication from your airline. Once the new scheme is known, they should contact the company in case they have bought the flights directly or with the agency, in case there is an intermediary.

Aerolineas Argentinas explained that Passengers with tickets issued directly at the airline must inform if they have urgency to travel in the next few days through a form available on its website so that the company can give it priority. Queries will also be answered through your call center in Argentina and by WhatsApp.

“If, on the contrary, you do not need to travel in the next few days, know that you can reuse your ticket at no cost, as long as your new trip ends before 12/15/2021 and respect the season of your original ticket. The change must be made before the end of the year of purchase of the ticket and it is not necessary to take any immediate action ”, they explained, for the other cases.

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Following the recent announcements from the National Government, we have received Traveler inquiries to confirm flights and advance the return to the country. However, the situation is complicated because today there are few options for change since we depend on the availability of flights, which is very limited for the next few days, “he explained. Paula Cristi, general manager of Argentina and Uruguay at Despegar.

“Given the situation we are going through with the impact of the pandemic, our suppliers are contemplating in most cases flexibility policies, that include open tickets in the case of flights without payment of penalty and subject to fare difference, and rescheduling or vouchers for the value of the reservation for other non-air products ”, added the executive.

Who bears the cost of this decision?

Most airlines work with schemes flex that allow you to make a change without charge and in a large window of time, as in the case of Aerolineas Argentinas, so the cost is directly absorbed by the companies.

Something similar happens with agencies. As they are intermediaries, they only charge for the first sale, and the other rescheduling are costs that must be absorbed, explained Daniel Hana, president of the Argentine Federation of Travel and Tourism Companies. The problem, moreover, is that the companies are left without income, because they cannot sell too many flights during these moments of greater restriction and uncertainty, the executive pointed out.

People must face the cost of spending a few more days spending in dollars. The Government prefers not to speak of “stranded”, since it considers that people took charge of their decision to leave the country in a complex context through an affidavit in which they declared “to know and accept” a possible reduction of frequencies of international passenger transport and the cost of the tests and places arranged for isolation.

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What impact does it have on the commercial aviation sector?

Baravalle, from Jurca, assures that there is a lot of concern in the sector about this new measure, since it contributes to greater uncertainty among passengers, but also among airlines. “Each company is doing its best to reprogram its passengers: lMost of them understand that the airline is not the ‘culprit’ but that it adapts to the rules, “he explained.

“Today we are operating at practically 2% of what it was before the pandemic. From 155 daily flights today we have three ”, he pointed. “Throughout the pandemic, airlines went through enormous economic and financial difficulties. Some were withdrawn from the market, they stopped operating. In the last border closure that was made for some countries of Middle East and Africa two companies reported that they will not operate in Argentina until they have predictability. This makes everything more difficult and not feasible ”, he warned.

“This is the worst case scenario, because abrupt decisions they cause a general situation of panic that falls on the travel agencies, which have to contain the situation: it is very difficult to bring peace of mind and accompaniment to those who spent part of their savings on a trip, ”said Hana.

“In this context, airlines that have operated for years in Argentina such as Latam Argentina, Qatar Airways and Air New Zealand they left the country and others such as Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Alitalia, Gol, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras and Air Canada, among others, canceled and / or suspended their operations indefinitely, which in the future will be very difficult to recover ”, said a statement from Facve.

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