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From 'enemy' to client: Flybondi now repairs its plane in the Aerolineas workshop

2021-05-07T13:56:48.359Z

It was the symbol of the 'low cost' policy carried out by the Macri government and continues to be rejected by the unions. Even so, La Cámpora enabled him to move from Ezeiza to Aeroparque, the most sought-after place.



05/06/2021 8:46 AM

  • Clarín.com

  • Economy

Updated 05/06/2021 8:57 AM

Flybondi

began flying in January 2018 at El Palomar airport. It had been founded two years before by

Julian Cook

, a Swiss who came to the country with the idea of ​​founding a "low cost" airline, an idea that in Argentina at that time sounded absurd, since there were minimum fare bands that prevented it. But the government of

Mauricio Macri

endorsed the idea and with

Guillermo Dietrich

as minister of the area, they enabled the

El Palomar airport

so that this airline with

nothing new

and yellow-painted

planes would

start flying, as of January 2018.

By then a

deregulation

of air fares

had begun

that facilitated not only the start of Flybondi, which only operates in Argentina, but also the arrival of two other international "low cost",

Norwegian and JetSmart

.

The "low cost" became the

number one

enemy

of the

traditional

aeronautical unions

, since they

could not have an impact

on their staff: the Macri government enabled these companies to have the policy of one union "per company", and enabled them also so that the ramp service was "self-rendered". In this way, throughout 2018 and 2019 a business structure of three companies was formed, with almost 1,000 employees, where strong unions such as APLA, APTA and APA

could not carve

. The incidence of

Intercargo

was also low

, the state ramp service that until then all airlines, with the exception of Aerolineas Argentinas and American Airlines, were obliged to contract. At El Palomar, Flybondi and JetSmart became

two more exceptions

.

Following the defeat of Cambiemos in the August primaries, Norwegian decided to leave Argentina and sold its assets to its competitor JetSmart. And in Flybondi there was a small earthquake that evidenced the change of era: by November 2019 its founder, Julian Cook, had already been displaced as CEO, but he was still one of the directors of the company. But a comment of his in a private chat of businessmen, where he described Peronism as "a

cancer

that destroys the country little by little" led the owners of the airline to

even

throw him out

of the directory.

But Flybondi remained combative in defending the El Palomar airport as its base of operations. He led a business move so that, shortly before the pandemic, the Regulatory Body of the Airport System (ORSNA) would

not close

that airport. When the regular domestic flights returned in October, it issued a statement with the title

"El Palomar o nada

.

"

By that time, it had become clear that the commercial air policy was not decided in the Ministry of Transportation, but in the office of Senator

Mariano Recalde

, former head of Aerolineas and founding member of

La Cámpora

.

A leader of that group and vice president of the ORSNA,

Fernando Muriel

, was the one who signed the resolution that enabled Ezeiza as the only "safe health corridor" of the metropolitan area and left El Palomar out definitively.

JetSmart moved fast: in just one weekend in October, it went from calling the government's policy "inexplicable" to announcing that it was moving to Ezeiza.

Flybondi's Boeing 737-800 registration LV-HFR, in the middle of a maintenance "tour" in the Airlines hangar.

Flybondi took a few more weeks, but ended up accepting the scheme proposed by Muriel and Recalde: a "temporary" move to Ezeiza, but with a final destination at Aeroparque. On December 12 it began to fly from Ezeiza and its owner, Esteban Tossutti, did not walk around: "Despite the changes we have undergone, the important thing is that today the 542 people of the Flybondi team are ready to return," he said. At the end of March, the airline was authorized to operate at Aeroparque and it is now its base of operations.

In that journey that led her to have

the three metropolitan airports as her base of operations

, she has now added a new milestone: one of her aircraft, the Boeing 737-800 registration LV-HFR, is doing its maintenance "tour" in the hangar. of Aerolineas Argentinas, in charge of the technicians affiliated to the Association of Aeronautical Technical Personnel (APTA), headed by

Ricardo Cirielli

. This is a task worth

hundreds of thousands of dollars

. The photos of the plane inside the hangar

were released from Aerolineas Argentinas

. Flybondi declined to comment on his new status as a

customer

of the flag carrier.

Source: clarin

All business articles on 2021-05-07

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