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June 14, 2024

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In a landmark development for air travel in South America, Brazil and Argentina have paved the way for a new era of aviation freedom. Officials from Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) and Argentina’s National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) convened on March 6 and 7 to sign a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), as announced by the directors of both agencies, Tiago Pereira of Brazil and Gustavo Marón of Argentina.

This agreement significantly shifts towards an open skies policy between the two nations. It effectively removes the cap on the number of weekly passenger flights and liberalizes cargo flight operations.

The MoU is a game-changer for airlines operating between Brazil and Argentina, granting them the autonomy to decide on the frequency of passenger flights without being bound by previous limitations. Before this agreement, air traffic between the countries was restricted, with airlines from both sides allowed to offer no more than 170 flights per week—a figure dictated by each country’s aviation regulations.

This historic agreement not only facilitates an increase in passenger travel but also significantly expands the scope for cargo operations. Under the new framework, carriers can transport international cargo without requiring flights to originate or conclude in their home country, a provision known as the Seventh Freedom of the Air. This aspect of the agreement is expected to enhance the efficiency of cargo movement between the two countries and beyond.

The initiative is part of Brazil’s broader effort to liberalize air cargo rights within the region. Brazil has successfully negotiated similar arrangements with other Latin American countries, including Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Moreover, the agreement underscores the need for a comprehensive review and update of the bilateral legal framework governing air services, which dates back to 1948. By modernizing this framework, both nations aim to solidify the progress achieved through the MoU and ensure the continued growth of their aviation sectors.

This agreement is a testament to the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), the Ministry of Ports and Airports (MPor), and the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) in Brazil. It promises to enhance connectivity, increase tourism, and stimulate economic growth between two of South America’s largest economies.

Statistics highlight the significance of the Brazil-Argentina air route as one of the busiest in the region. Before the pandemic, in 2019, over 2 million passengers flew between the two countries, underscoring the vital economic and cultural linkages the new open skies policy seeks to strengthen. With the removal of flight restrictions, this figure is expected to grow significantly, providing a much-needed boost to both nations’ travel and tourism sectors.

The open skies agreement between Brazil and Argentina is pivotal for regional aviation, setting a precedent for future agreements and fostering a more connected South America.

author avatar
Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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