The Transport Ministry is studying on the possible return of commercial flights on Saturdays and Sundays, perhaps beginning as early as from this coming weekend, after seven months of standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The plans to restore both domestic and international flights on a regular basis, alongside long-distance bus transport, were included in the emergency decree published on Monday defining characteristics of the latest phase of quarantine announced by President Alberto Fernández just ahead of last weekend.
The decree lifted the suspension of these activities while leaving the detailed implementation of their return up to the Transport Ministry.
With Monday a public holiday (Columbus Day), Transport Ministry officials will begin work on the issue as from Tuesday, though sources said there were no immediate decisions in sight, because first it was necessary to speak with all the provincial governors and secure their agreement for a return of regular flights.
Ministry sources further explained that such aspects as passenger limits, the mobility of airline staff as essential workers and suitable medical treatment would also need to be cleared with the Cabinet Chief’s office, which could also add other criteria.
A few weeks ago Transport Minister Mario Meoni had set October 13-15 as the dates for the return of regular flights but sources at the portfolio ministry do not consider this possible before this weekend at the very earliest.
With limited exceptions, international commercial flights have been banned in Argentina since March 20, when the government first introduced quarantine restrictions to tackle the advance of Covid-19 in Argentina.