The Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas is set to see increased connectivity with the Argentine mainland after airlines from Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay were courted over their interest in developing a service to their respective countries albeit with a stopover in Argentina.
A Falklands government statement issued last week said a letter that had been jointly signed by the UK and Argentine governments, had been dispatched to UK embassies in Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, requesting "assistance in contacting airlines in their respective countries, to invite them to communicate their interest in establishing a new weekly scheduled air service to and from the Falkland Islands."
Interested operators are asked to submit their proposals by the end of February following which a commercially-based determination process will be undertaken by the Falklands government.
The overall objective is to secure one additional flight per week, including a monthly stop in Argentina, once in each direction, before the end of 2018. Government hopes to have the final contract negotiations completed over the [southern] winter months. The new air link is therefore expected to be operational in October this year where it will complement an existing weekly LATAM Airlines-operated service between Mount Pleasant and Punta Arenas, Chile, which stops over in Rio Gallegos, Argentina once a month.
"This additional air link will unlock the potential for Falkland Island businesses to flourish and, in turn, bring about wider economic and social benefits for our local population,» the Falkland Islands’ Chief Executive, Barry Rowland, said. «The commercial process will be carefully managed by the Falkland Islands, together with our appointed specialist contractors "˜Aviation Economic"™. This is an exciting time and we are looking forward to exploring the opportunities to work with new and existing partners to improve the experience of everyone travelling to this beautiful part of the world by air»…