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The brave new world of domestic Argentine flying

The brave new world of domestic Argentine flying

Old Oct 4, 18, 6:21 am
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The brave new world of domestic Argentine flying

For foreigners, it's been a hassle to fly in Argentina forever. Rules have prevented foreigners from buying the cheapest tickets, and competition has been limited by the government. But that is now all changing.

https://skift.com/2018/10/03/cheaper...s-to-struggle/

Has anyone attempted to buy one of the new ultra-cheap airfares?

If the experience in Chile is any indication, this new competition will be both good and bad. Fares will definitely get much cheaper. But the service will also get worse. Is the Argentine government regulating "pitch"? It's become almost impossible to fly within Chile without being shoehorned into the smallest space possible (fares are too low to support any other seating configuration).

Domestic tourism will also likely be dramatically changed. In Chile, far-flung places like Punta Arenas are now less than $100 roundtrip from Santiago. Overcrowding in places like Torres del Paine is now a real problem as infrastructure, accommodations and transport haven't kept up with demand. And that's Chile, where things are pretty well organized. It will be interesting to see what happens in Argentina. I'd expect crowds.
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Old Oct 4, 18, 9:39 am
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I think it's a bit too early to draw any conclusions, but according to EANA, which is the air market regulator, the amount of pax in domestic flights in September went up 9% year-on-year, possibly because of: a) cheaper fares; b) there are more and more flights between provinces without stopping at AEP/EZE, and, incredibly enough, people from the provinces also like to travel to non-stop.

I haven't used any of the new airlines but I know people who have. Those who tried Flybondi and Avianca were all pretty happy; those who flew Andes not so much, as their schedule seems to be quite unreliable. Norwegian is starting domestic flights this month -- we shall see how they do but, for instance, they should be the first airline offering wi-fi internet on flights within Argentina.

As far as I know there are no regulations regarding pitch, service, etc., and AR and LA are going the way of US or European main carriers -- no service in Economy on flights less than 2 hours long (the exception is AEP/EZE-BRC, which is 1:55 and they are generous enough to give you a cookie), more cramped seats (LA just sent one of its A320s to FAdeA in Córdoba for refurbishment so they add two extra rows of seats), etc.

Regarding the rest of the touristic infrastructure, it still has to catch up. Renting a car in Argentina is still stupidly expensive, for example.
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Old Oct 8, 18, 2:18 pm
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Its not only the domestic market that is attracting new airlines and more fares & routes for flyers... but there are also a couple of new International routes being opened. Air Europa is going to launch flights from Europe to Cordoba, and new Iguazu service is also going to start in 2019. All this is a move in the right direction, lets keep our fingers crossed that things continue this way. This is good news for visitors and also for the different local economies....
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Old Oct 8, 18, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Marambio View Post
Regarding the rest of the touristic infrastructure, it still has to catch up. Renting a car in Argentina is still stupidly expensive, for example.
Yeah, like most norteamericanos, I don't really drive manual shift cars and they ARE stupidly expensive in Argentina (partly because Argentines do drive manual shift, of course).

On a trip to Patagonia, for example, I fly into Punta Arenas instead of, say, Rio Gallegos, because the airfare will be cheaper and the car will be cheaper. That said, all the new flights in Chile seem to be raising car rental costs in places like Punta Arenas (they're 2x since my last visit!).

The flights, though, are still getting cheaper. Today is cyber-Monday in Chile, and I've received emails from Sky and Latam offering me flights anywhere in Chile for less than US$25. Crazy prices.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Yeah, like most norteamericanos, I don't really drive manual shift cars and they ARE stupidly expensive in Argentina (partly because Argentines do drive manual shift, of course).

On a trip to Patagonia, for example, I fly into Punta Arenas instead of, say, Rio Gallegos, because the airfare will be cheaper and the car will be cheaper. That said, all the new flights in Chile seem to be raising car rental costs in places like Punta Arenas (they're 2x since my last visit!).

The flights, though, are still getting cheaper. Today is cyber-Monday in Chile, and I've received emails from Sky and Latam offering me flights anywhere in Chile for less than US$25. Crazy prices.
I always rent manual shift cars except when in the USA, and even then renting in Argentina is expensive by international standards. I haven't rented any car here since 2016, but at that time I paid Hertz in Tucumán ca. 250 USD for 3 days of a craptastic Chevrolet Corsa. Last year I paid the same amount to Hertz in Greece -- except that the rental was for a week, dropped off the car in a different location from pick-up, and instead of the craptastic Chevrolet I got a brand new BMW.

So yes, our tourism industry has a long way to go
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Old Oct 16, 18, 3:59 am
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Hertz will also put a $15,000 hold on your credit card, at least in MDZ. I thought the agent said $1,500 until I went and looked at my statement. Wow!
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Old Oct 16, 18, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by Marambio View Post
I always rent manual shift cars except when in the USA, and even then renting in Argentina is expensive by international standards. I haven't rented any car here since 2016, but at that time I paid Hertz in Tucumán ca. 250 USD for 3 days of a craptastic Chevrolet Corsa. Last year I paid the same amount to Hertz in Greece -- except that the rental was for a week, dropped off the car in a different location from pick-up, and instead of the craptastic Chevrolet I got a brand new BMW.

So yes, our tourism industry has a long way to go
Yup, that's been my experience too: expensive rentals, bad cars in Argentina. I think it will change, though. Or at least I hope so!
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