Argentine airline cancels 371 flights due to strike ahead of G20

Argentine airline cancels 371 flights due to strike ahead of G20

BUENOS AIRES,. Argentina’s state-owned airline Aerolineas Argentinas said yesterday that it had cancelled all flights scheduled for Monday due to a strike called by pilots and other personnel, just days before the country is to host a meeting of the G20.

More than 370 flights, affecting 40,000 travelers, have been scratched from the schedule, Aerolineas said in a statement.

On November 30, the yearly meeting of the leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies is to be held in Buenos Aires. The G20 summit will be the biggest of its kind ever to be held in Argentina.

The inflation- and recession-racked country is hoping to use the G20 meeting to showcase the market-friendly policies of President Mauricio Macri, who has failed to attract significant foreign direct investment since he took office in late 2015.

Frequent strikes by activist labor unions are a reason why investors still shy from Argentina.

“Given the need to protect its passengers, Aerolineas is forced to cancel the entire operation scheduled for that day (Monday) and is reprogramming flights in the most orderly way possible,” the statement said.

Two pilots unions plus the Aeronautical Personnel Association and the Aeronautical Technical Personnel Association are among the groups that will strike, the statement said.

“From 00:00 Monday morning (03:00 GMT) November 26 there will be a total stoppage of activities,” a statement on the website of the local APLA pilots union said. The open-ended strike is over issues including what the union called inadequate wages.

Labour stoppages are common in Argentina, where employers are hard-pressed to grant pay increases in line with inflation.

Consumer prices in Argentina rose 5.4 per cent in October alone. Annual inflation is expected to top 47 per cent by the end of the year, according to the latest central bank poll. — Reuters