The country’s pilot unions will continue their protests at Aeroparque, yet have vowed to not disrupt future flights or broadcast messages to passengers on the ground through onboard intercom systems.
“As a result of the current commercial air policy, today we have businesses that cannot pay salaries, that have suspended their operations, that reduce pilots endowments with covert layoffs,” the onboard announcement had stated. “Because of this situation, which puts at risk thousands of labour sources in the country, we ratify our commitment to continue defending Argentine aviation. The skies also belong to each one of you. From now, we thank your understanding.”
The unions will instead distribute leaflets to travelers in Aeroparque with the same message and organise future demonstrations in the airport.
Yet Pablo Biró, the secretary general of the Association of Air Line Pilots, forecasted that the continuing confrontation between the unions and the government will “escalate and end badly.”
“When I say it’s going to end badly it’s because to not have a voluntary dialogue nor a reversal of mistaken policies deepens conflicts,” Biró said.
Cristian Erhardt, the secretary general of the Union of Air Line Aviators, told El Destape Radio on Thursday that the “commercial air policy of the government is going to generate a collapse” of the industry.
“I had anticipated that it is going to end badly because there is a permanente provocation,” Biro said. “The foreignisation of aviation, takes harmful measures against our jobs and the connectivity of users.”
Since the protests began, air line officials as well as the government have blasted the pilots as Kirchnerites trying to influence this year’s elections
Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich said the pilot’s “mafia-like” actions “is in the DNA of Kirchnerism.”
“They pretend to send the message that they’re the owners of the business and can do what they want with Aerolíneas Argentinas,” Dietrich told Télam.