- Air travel to and from Argentina was largely canceled on Wednesday
- Union workers went on 24-hour strike after rejecting a 12 percent pay increase
- Only American Airlines and the low-cost airline Flybondi operated flights from the Ministerio Pistarini International Airport in the city of Ezeiza, outside Buenos Aires.
At least 35,000 passengers are stranded across Argentina after airport workers demanding higher wages went on strike on Wednesday.
The union strike occurs a week after Aerolíneas Argentinas and Intercargo presented an offer of a 12 percent salary increase, which was rejected by the Association of Aeronautical Personnel, the Association of Airline Pilots and the Union of Superior and Professional Personnel of Aerocommercial Companies.
More than 50 airports in the country remained open, but airlines had canceled hundreds of flights.
Passengers were seen huddled around screens at airports where they learned of their flight cancellations, while others were seen sleeping on the floor and resting on benches waiting for travel to resume.
A security worker stands in front of the Aerolíneas Argentinas airline counters at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery airport in Buenos Aires on Wednesday after air transport workers went on strike across the country. The strike has left at least 35,000 passengers stranded
A passenger sleeps on the floor at the Ministerio Pistarini International Airport in Ezeiza, Argentina, on Wednesday after flights were canceled due to a 24-hour workers’ strike. Three unions representing workers rejected a 12 percent pay increase offered last week
Aerolíneas Argentinas, operated by the Argentine government, had to cancel 331 flights on Wednesday. The airline said the flight cancellations affected about 24,000 passengers. The company said it expected to lose about $2 million.
Low-cost carrier Flybondi and American Airlines were the only airlines operating from Ezeiza International Airport, Argentina’s largest airport located outside of Buenos Aires.
Flybondi told Argentine media TN that its flights operated from Ezeiza because it employed its own staff at the airport.
The state-run Aerolíneas Argentina canceled 331 flights and recommended customers check their emails for updates and contact travel agencies if they purchased their flights through them.
The airline said the strike is expected to affect nearly 24,000 of its passengers, with an estimated economic impact of $2 million.
LatAm, Latin America’s largest airline, also canceled flights to and from Argentina on Wednesday and offered passengers the opportunity to change their travel dates and flights free of charge for up to a year, as long as they do not change the origin and destination of the flight. flight.
Refunds were also offered with no fees included.
Chilean low-cost airline JetSmart also canceled all its flights on Wednesday and asked passengers to visit the airline’s website to change their flights for free.
Travelers rest at the Ministerio Pistarini International Airport in Ezeiza, Argentina, after a national strike caused the cancellation of their flights
Passengers at the Ministerio Pistarini International Airport look at the flight information screen on Wednesday
Travel to and from Argentina was largely suspended Wednesday following a 24-hour strike by air travel workers across the country.
Wednesday’s union strike was the latest sign of civil unrest in Argentina.
Trade unionists blame the government for the breakdown of wage negotiations.
The union conflict began last week when the Argentine government proposed a salary increase that was considered insufficient by the three unions that bring together the staff of several airlines.
The strike occurs in the midst of inflation in Argentina. has been triggered in recent months, largely as a result of a 50 percent devaluation of the local currency implemented by President Javier Milei’s government and the elimination of subsidies for public transportation and services such as electricity.
Union representatives are seeking a wage increase that will help workers beat inflation and reach an agreement that gives employees a pay increase of at least 70 percent.