For some time, a conflict rumbled on in the South Atlantic between Argentina and the UK over the status of the Falkland Islands. This conflict, which burst in a bloody war in 1982, is decided mostly politically and socially. Argentina had issued an embargo on vessels and planes on their way to the islands. Now, this embargo could be lifted: The Argentinian charter airline American Jet has applied for a direct route between Argentina and the Falklands.
For a long time, the relationship between Buenos Aires and London was rather difficult because of the Falkland Islands. Thus, hardly any flight connections exist between the South American main land the islands. Only Latam operates flights every Saturday from Chilean Punta Arenas to Mount Pleasant Airport. Twice a month, the plane lands in Argentinian Rio Gallegos, once on the way out, once on the way in. This flight is used by many inhabitants to obtain products from the mainland and for tourists to reach the islands. The only other connection is the twice weekly operated flight from the British Airforce base Brize Norton near Oxford to the Falklands via Ascension Island. However, only recently the two governments agreed on new flights between the islands and other countries in the region. Argentina and the UK allowed the establishment of two additional stops per month on Argentinian mainland, one in each direction.
An additional direct flight route has been applied now by American Jet. The charter airline, founded 1984, asked for the rights on 13 national and 7 international routes. One of the latter would be from Neuquén to Mount Pleasant. The fleet of the company consists of 6 business aircrafts, 2 helicopter and one ATR-42 plane. This one is considered ideal for flights to the islands, which are called Malvinas by the Argentinians. The application could a first step to normal relations between the two former enemies. After last year’s elections which saw Mauricio Macri as the winner, prospects are promising. Already last year both govenrments agreed to rekindle the dialogue about the Falkland Islands. This would have been impossible under the rule of former president Cristina Kirchner de Fernandez.
Source: Stefan Eiselin, Aerotelegraph.com