The Russian government announced that it will restore air connections with 52 countries starting this Saturday, with which it had suspended direct flights due to the pandemic.
Among the countries listed by the regulatory body Rossaviatsia is Argentina, an announcement that, at least in the short term, will not have practical effects: the only route between the two countries, a “shared code” agreement between Aerolineas Argentinas and the airline Aeroflot, was suspended after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
That route has its stopover in Madrid, a destination that, like all those of the European Union, prohibited the arrival of Russian planes after the invasion. And while Aerolineas and Aeroflot had begun the paperwork to jointly cover stops in Miami and New York (other destinations that also ended up banning Russian planes), those codeshare agreements remained unfinished.
Despite this, this Monday the EFE and AFP agencies reported that the government of Vladimir Putin had announced that it will restore “before the end of this week” its flights with 52 countries that had been suspended “because of the covid-19 pandemic” .
“From [sábado] On April 9, all restrictions on scheduled and “low-cost” (or “low-cost” airline) flights between Russia and 52 countries will be lifted,” Russia’s aviation regulator Rossaviatsia said in a statement.
As if it were a situation unrelated to the invasion, that of a country that opens its borders after the pandemic, according to Rossaviatsia, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that “the incidence rate is decreasing, which means that it is time to expand the destinations available to Russian airlines”.
According to the Rossaviatsia statement, the Russian official mentioned “India, China and Argentina” among the countries. In the case of Argentina, the mention clearly has a political overtone, as part of Putin’s attempt to break his international isolation.
The truth is that Argentina did not prohibit the arrival of Russian planes after the invasion of Ukraine, a measure that the member states of the European Union, Canada and the United States did.
But, at least when it comes to regular passenger flights, the European Union’s bans were enough to render the only active route between the two countries null and void.
That route was active until February 26. “Fly between Buenos Aires and Moscow connecting in Madrid with flights operated by Aeroflot and marketed by Aerolineas Argentinas in shared code” offered Aerolineas. After the closure of the skies of the European Union to Russian planes, the route from Ezeiza to Moscow was automatically suspended.
Could Aeroflot, the Russian state airline, now fly directly to Buenos Aires? In theory, yes, as long as there is no ban by the government of Alberto Fernández. But so far there is no concrete news.
“I have no knowledge that any file for restarting operations has entered Russia,” the head of the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), Paola Tamburelli, told Clarín.