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'Privatisation of Aerolíneas is false speculation': Transport Minister Dietrich

Guillermo Dietrich's comments come amid tension between the national government and aviation unions, which carried out surprise strike activity over the weekend.

Wednesday 14 November, 2018
Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich announces the increases in public transport fares across Buenos Aires at a press conference on Wednesday January 3, 2017.
Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich announces the increases in public transport fares across Buenos Aires at a press conference on Wednesday January 3, 2017. Foto:@guillodietrich

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Argentina's Transport Minister has "categorically" denied that the Mauricio Macri government will move to privatise national airline Aerolíneas Argentinas, describing such rumours as "false speculation".

Aerolíneas Argentinas "will not be privatised nor is it in our plans to do so", Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich told reporters outside the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires City on Wednesday, where he addressed the Economic Council for Commerce and Production (CICYP).

The state-run airline is one of few in the world "that loses money but receives subsidies. We are investing and working hard to improve things", he said.

Dietrich's comments come amid tension between the national government and aviation unions, which carried out surprise strike activity on Saturday. The strike activity affected 7,000 passengers on over 150 flights to and from Buenos Aires' Ezeiza International and Aeroparque airports.

CHANGING SECTOR

Argentina's aviation and tourism sectors have experienced major changes since early 2018, with the arrival of "low-cost" carriers like FlyBondi and Norwegian Air.

"The pie is going to get bigger,” Norwegian Air's public relations director for Argentina, Matías Maciel, told the Times in January.

The Macri government expects the complete elimination of subsidies for the state-owned Aerolineas and Austral airlines by 2020, opting instead for debt financing. 

-TIMES

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