Thursday, August 22, 2013

LAN Argentina Ordered to Abandon Hangar at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP); May Cease Argentina Operations

The website of Argentine newspaper La Nacion reports that LAN Argentina received a letter from the Argentine government agency ORSNA - Organismo Regulador del Sistema Nacional de Aeropuertos (National Airport Regulation Agency) on Monday, August 20 ordering the company to abandon its hangar at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) within 10 days, putting in doubt the company's continued operations in Argentina as LAN claims that without the hangar to service its aircraft its Aeroparque flights and Argentine domestic flights, in general, would become unviable.

This letter is based on an order issued in late 2012 that was to take effect 01Aug13 effectively banning commercial operations from Aeroparque by any Argentine airline other than Aerolineas Argentinas / Austral.

This is the latest chapter in a long-running conflict between the Argentine government and LAN Argentina where the government has repeatedly enforced measures that have been disadvantageous to the carrier's operations in the country.  See blog entry from 20Dec12:

Agustin Agraz, LAN Argentina Director of Corporate Relations, said that the airline will "Resort to the courts to enforce our rights.  We have a signed contract for the hangar and our maintenance base until 2023 with an investment of US$ 5,000,000 and a monthly payment of US$ 20,000."  Asked if the situation could result in employee layoffs, Agraz said that "without the hangar, LAN Argentina's operation is unviable" and added "If they take the hangar away from us we will be obligated to stop flying to the 14 destinations in Argentina (that the airline currently serves)". 

The seriousness of the situation is underscored by the fact that LAN's CEO, Ignacio Cueto, interrupted a trip to Colombia to inaugurate the country's first biofuel flight to fly to Argentina to negotiate with airport authorities.

It will be interesting to see if the police show up at Aeroparque in ten days to forcibly remove LAN from the hangar.           



  1. Not sure what you mean by B.S. Do you think that LAN being expelled from AEP is B.S. in the sense that it is wrong or are you saying that is not true that LAN is being expelled from AEP. Or maybe you are saying that it won't cause them to leave Argentina ? Kind of curious.