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.

Mount Pleasant Airport on the Falkland Islands is governed and operated by the Royal Air Force, but also allows civil planes. The airport was opened in 1985 and started operations one year later. Picture: Donald Morrisson
Mount Pleasant Airport on the Falkland Islands is governed and operated by the Royal Air Force, but also allows civil planes. The airport was opened in 1985 and started operations one year later. Picture: Donald Morrisson

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.

Argentinian airline American Jet operates charter flights with 7 jets and 2 helicopters, mainly inside Argentina. Their largest plane, an ATR-42 is considered ideal for flights to the Falklands. Picture: Christian Martinez
Argentinian airline American Jet operates charter flights with 7 jets and 2 helicopters, mainly inside Argentina. Their largest plane, an ATR-42 is considered ideal for flights to the Falklands. Picture: Christian Martinez

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.

Approximately 2900 people live on the Falkland Islands, the majority in the capital Port Stanley. In a 2013 referendum, the inhabitants clearly demonstrated their wish to remain British. Picture: Michael Wenger
Approximately 2900 people live on the Falkland Islands, the majority in the capital Port Stanley. In a 2013 referendum, the inhabitants clearly demonstrated their wish to remain British. Picture: Michael Wenger

Source: Stefan Eiselin, Aerotelegraph.com