Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has announced, during a state visit to Argentina, that the state-owned flag-carriers of both countries, Conviasa and Aerolineas Argentinas, will enter a "tight alliance".

While a senior Aerolineas source says he is "unaware of the contents of the alliance", a member of the Venezuelan diplomatic delegation says that "the idea is to have both airlines pool their flights between Caracas and Buenos Aires", and to boost frequencies from the current four to 14 weekly flights, operated by either airline.

The tie-up between the carriers in the Venezuelan-Argentine market will be accompanied by a revised bilateral agreement which will eliminate restrictions to frequencies between them and, more importantly, provide both carriers with fifth-freedom rights beyond their gateways.

"Aerolineas Argentinas could fly from Buenos Aires to Caracas and onward to the USA, the Caribbean or Europe, while Conviasa might combine flights to Buenos Aires with destinations in Chile or Uruguay", the source adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news