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ARGENTINA | 24-01-2024 09:45

Anti-Milei strike in Argentina leads to mass flight cancellations

State airline Aerolíneas Argentinas forced to cancel more than 260 flights due to CGT’s anti-Milei walkout; Low-cost carriers JetSmart cancels all business for the day, while FlyBondi moves operations to Ezeiza; More than 20,000 travellers affected.

State airline Aerolíneas Argentinas has confirmed the cancellation of 267 flights and the rescheduling of 26 others due to disruption from the first national general strike of President Javier Milei’s government.

Union leaders have called a mass walkout for Wednesday and with aviation airlines adhering to the walkout, passengers are facing mass cancellations and complications at Argentina’s major air terminals.

Domestic flights will be ceased for the entirety of the demonstration, said the CATT transport workers’ union in a statement. The strike action runs from midday to midnight.

Aerolineas Argentinas’ decision to cancel flights affects some 17,000 passengers who were scheduled to travel on Wednesday.

Compulsory conciliation talks with the union that groups together ramp, check-in and call centre staff (APA, Asociacion del Personal Aeronáutico) ended in an agreement that allows operations to continue until midday on Wednesday, before the shutdown kicks in.

The firm said that the move would cost the firm close to US$2.5 million, citing “personnel expenses, rescheduling and cancellations.”

The regularisation of operations will take approximately 72 hours, the company added.

Passengers have been advised to check the state-owned carrier’s website (www.aerolineas.com.ar) for the latest available information on the status of their flight before heading to the airport.

The strike will also affect operations at low-cost carriers. JetSmart has opted to cancel all activity for Wednesday. Around 5,000 passengers will be affected by the disruption and have been invited to rebook on flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

"JetSmart informs that, due to the union measures announced as of midnight on Wednesday, January 24, the airline has been forced to cancel all of its flights scheduled for that day," the company said in a statement released on its social networks.

Fellow low-cost carrier FlyBondi will be less affected, given that it has “self-provision of handling services (ground assistance to aeroplanes and passengers) at Ezeiza [International] Airport,” the company said in a statement.

It has chosen to move 60 of its flights scheduled to depart Wednesday from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in the capital to Ezeiza, Argentina’s largest airport.

Another six have been cancelled.
 

– TIMES/NA

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