Buenos Aires’ third hub, El Palomar Airport (EPA), is being dismantled from its business previous, shedding the remaining infrastructure as soon as employed by native low-cost carriers equivalent to Flybondi and JetSMART. There’s uncertainty about what’s going to it occur with El Palomar.
Dismantling the infrastructure
Final week, a number of photos on social media confirmed the elimination of Flybondi’s gear that remained at El Palomar after two years of being ousted from the hub as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
In accordance with Flybondi, the gear seen within the photos was being transferred to Ezeiza Worldwide Airport (EZE), the place the airline presently operates most of its flights, with its fleet of six Boeing 737-800NG plane. By transferring the remaining bits of infrastructure, Flybondi is transferring on from the seemingly misplaced battle it undertook to function from El Palomar. This navy airport was briefly licensed to have business providers by the Mauricio Macri administration.
A short historical past
El Palomar was an lively business airport between 2018 and 2020 and was broadly employed by the ultra-low-cost carriers Flybondi and JetSMART Chile, JetSMART Argentina, and Sky Airline. All of those carriers had been completely low-cost, and the hub served as an alternative choice to the Ezeiza Airport and Jorge Newbery Airfield (AEP), the traditionally used airports in Buenos Aires.
Nonetheless, in 2020, within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand new Argentinian authorities determined to impose heavy journey restrictions in a failed try to regulate the variety of rising instances within the nation. All business flights from El Palomar had been prohibited, and the low-cost operators had been pressured to maneuver to EZE and AEP.
At the moment, Flybondi opposed being forcefully moved from one airport to a different and printed a press release known as El Palomar o nada (El Palomar or nothing else). This assertion has since been deleted from the airline’s web site. The low-cost service stated that the federal government’s arguments for closing El Palomar had been malicious and ill-coordinated and that it might solely affect the passengers and workers. Flybondi’s CEO on the time, Esteban Tossutti, stated,
“Flying from Ezeiza just isn’t a commercially viable choice for Flybondi or our passengers. The federal government authorities and regulatory organizations are conscious of this actuality. Their determination reveals little respect in direction of the passengers that purchased tickets to fly from El Palomar.”
Flybondi moved the final remaining infrastructure it had at El Palomar Airport in Buenos Aires.
What’s subsequent for El Palomar?
El Palomar stays open to this present day, but it surely solely receives flights from the Argentine Air Drive and from a flight faculty. In October 2021, the native Supreme Court docket of Justice ordered the airport to be closed to all business exercise till the federal government held an environmental affect research to research how business flights impacted the lives of the folks round El Palomar. This airport is surrounded by a number of Buenos Aires neighborhoods, as town has had a sizeable city development within the final a long time. This urbanization led many to imagine El Palomar shouldn’t have been a business airport within the first place.
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic imposed new rules on the Argentine airports, which El Palomar couldn’t adjust to. The Regulatory Physique of the Nationwide Airport System (Orsna) stated El Palomar “doesn’t adjust to the minimal areas required to respect social distancing requirements, each for passengers and employees, has a precarious authorization, and doesn’t have a hearth prevention system.”
In the long run, it’s uncertain El Palomar can be reopened as a business airport any time quickly.
Did you ever journey from El Palomar? How was it? What do you consider this controversy? Tell us within the feedback.