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Aviation key to ending poverty in Argentina: transport minister

The newly liberalised aviation industry in Argentina is playing a central role in the government’s aim to end poverty, the country’s transport minister said today.

Speaking to delegates at the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Buenos Aires, Guillermo Dietrich says the administration of president Mauricio Macri is working “to eradicate poverty from Argentina forever”.

“We know that one of the tools, one of the engines, to achieve this aim is the aviation industry, which connects our country and generates opportunities,” Dietrich states.

Argentina is working to liberalise its aviation industry, having previously prioritised the fortunes of flag carrier Aerolineas Argentinas and local bus companies, rather than encouraging competition from other carriers. Dietrich describes those historical policies as “errors made by our country”.

As a result of changes already made under the government's transport and infrastructure plan, domestic passenger traffic is up by “15% this year”, Dietrich notes.

He adds that Aerolineas still “has a key role to play in all of this”, but also cites several carriers that are planning to launch operations in the country as a result of regulations being loosened, including Avianca Argentina, Flybondi and Norwegian Air Argentina.

Dietrich also states that the government is using money generated through airport fees and revenues to reinvest into infrastructure improvements. Airline leaders in the region frequently complain that governments elsewhere use money generated through airlines to fund projects outside the industry.

“Our commitment is for fees and revenues that are generated in the sector will be reinvested 100% within our sector,” Dietrich says. “This is enabling us to carry out an ambitious plan that has already involved works at eight airports.”

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