A protest by the Association of Aeronautical Technical Personnel (APTA) on Tuesday caused the cancellation in Buenos Aires of at least 121 flights with more than 14,500 passengers, a situation that affects the companies of Aerolineas Argentinas and its Austral subsidiary, sources of the company.
The protest, which occurs from 06.00 local time (09.00 GMT) to flights that operate at the international airport of the Buenos Aires area of Ezeiza and the Aeroparque of Buenos Aires, is due to the absence of specialized technical personnel of the company, so it is not "neither assembly nor unemployment".
In statements to the agency Télam, Ricardo Cirielli, responsible for the APTA – organization that groups maintenance and repair workers of the aircraft – attributed the cancellations and delays in both airports to "the sole responsibility of operations management".
At the Aeroparque, the long lines at the Aerolineas Argentinas counters had hundreds of passengers of different nationalities waiting to resolve the uncertainty regarding their flights.
Argentina's Patricia Peralta, who saw her flight to Mendoza (west) canceled, told Efe from that row that of the five windows the company has in its customer service, "only two people are working."
"People are exasperated as is logical, there are people with children, people with difficulties to move, but all that seems that the company does not take into account," he said, while stressing that in his opinion Aerolineas Argentinas "should not leave "that labor disputes reach" this point ".
From APTA they pointed out that "there are no personnel in flight and radio tracking" and that "there should be more personnel per shift", since the only person who was present to operate in that position is "sick".
"The management knew it, but it did not take the precautions to cover the position in this turn. Lack of qualified personnel. Now they are seeing to summon one that is frank (of freedom), or wait until the one who takes a turn enters at 14 ", Cirielli said.
In any case, they are not the first problems registered in these airports, which regained normality after a month ago Aerolineas Argentinas reached a salary recomposition agreement with the pilot unions after several days of protests.
Another affected passenger, Mabel Giménez, who was returning on vacation to her native Salta (north), considered the situation a "disaster" and hoped it would be fixed, "because flights are always canceled, it is not the first time this is happening" .
The Colombian Santiago Molina, on vacation in Argentina and who remained without flying to El Calafate (south) after arriving at the airport early in the morning, said the company delayed the flight several times until, hours later, he confirmed that he was canceled , and only later learned that there have been other days of cancellations in recent months by the company.
"It would have been nice to know this before buying tickets with Aerolineas Argentinas to buy for another airline," he said.
In October and November the company will pay an additional fixed amount equivalent to 10% of the salary of each worker and in December a fixed increase of 15%.
In January, that fixed amount will disappear and an adjustment of 15% will be applied to all wages.
. (tagsToTranslate) passengers (t) affected (t) cancellations (t) Aerolineas (t) Argentinas