Updated 12/01/2020 1:35 PM
Austral Lineas Aereas
ceased to exist
after 63 years.
It was through an administrative procedure, during which the head of the National Civil Aviation Administration,
, delivered the new operating certificate (CESA) to the president of Aerolineas Argentinas,
That act, carried out with a certain pomp (Tamburelli and Ceriani posed smiling for a photo, with the Aerolineas auditorium stage as the background), transformed Austral into
the fifth brand to disappear within Aerolineas.
For the public, they functioned as a single company, with a single ticket issuing center, but inside they were
two separate companies
, each with its board of directors and its crews, both pilots and cabin crew.
Aerolineas was born as a state company, while Austral was a private company until its nationalization in 1980. It was privatized again in 1985, but
as of 1990 it was controlled by Iberia,
later by the Spanish SEPI and the
and since then it has been part of the so-called
The two airlines were re-
nationalized in 2008.
The other four brands that disappeared within Airlines are a matter for historians.
Aeroposta, Litoral Fluvial Aviation (ALFA), Fleet Air Merchant (FAMA) and West and North Air Lines (ZONDA)
They were nationalized by the first government of Perón in 1949 and merged, in 1950, into
Aerolineas Argentinas Sociedad del Estado
Another Peronist president, Carlos Menem, transformed the SE into an SA in 1990, before its privatization.
Cristina Kirchner ordered its nationalization in 2008. And now Alberto Fernández made the first absorption of an airline in 70 years, Austral.
An old Jumbo B747 from Aerolineas Argentinas.
This year the company painted an airplane with this graphic, to celebrate its 70 years.
The newsletter with which Aerolíneas put numbers to the merger shows a marathon internal work: since May, when the announcement was made, 500 people have worked, with a general plan and 16 specific plans per area, with the modification of 68 operational documents and 540 items of IATA international regulations.
Austral's 26 Embraer 190 planes became formally Aerolineas.
But the most delicate step was not any of those procedures, but the
merger of the two pilot unions
Since 1985, the pilots are divided between APLA (Airlines) and UALA, (Austral).
With the merger, in
addition to the Austral brand, the UALA union disappeared
"Through this agreement, all pilots will become part of the Aerolineas Argentinas staff under the same rank," said the company.
"Along the same lines and in the last hours, the agreement was confirmed with the representatives of the AAA (Argentine Aircraft Association) for the unification of the cabin crew ranks," the official statement added.
In an internal chat of Austral pilots, last night they raised a coexistence that does not promise to be simple.
are praying that the Embraer 190s continue to operate
, otherwise all the Commanders will descend to be Boeing 737 co-pilots and we will have to assist pilots with much less experience, flight hours and years than ours," one of them pointed out.
Austral Embraer 190 aircraft parked at Aeroparque.
Photo Marcelo Carroll
The truth is that all Austral pilots and co-drivers
will continue to maintain the same salary
as up to now.
The discussion that opens from the merger is a matter of
hierarchies and ranks
According to sources close to Ceriani, the merger will generate savings of the equivalent of about
$ 100 million per year
“From an operational point of view, it means the unification of areas such as maintenance, pilots and crews, thus eliminating existing duplicate structures.
This will allow greater efficiency and a considerable reduction in derived costs ”, added the company.