The Falkland Islands Government and LATAM Airlines Group have denied that a date for the resumption of passenger flights to South America has been agreed.
This is despite recent international media reports that had suggested LATAM Brazil had requested regular flights connecting Mount Pleasant airport and São Paulo to resume by the start of February.
In a statement provided to FITV, LATAM airlines commented:
“The resumption of flights to and from Mount Pleasant is subject to the evolution of the pandemic and the respective travel restrictions. While there is no confirmed restart date, LATAM continues to evaluate the situation together with the competent authorities.”LATAM Airlines Group
When contacted by FITV, the Falkland Islands Government referred to their most recent public update from 13th December, stating:
“It is our intention to work towards the re-opening of one or both routes as early as possible in the second quarter of next year. Once a final decision is made to re-establish flights, a minimum of three months is required by LATAM to prepare for the resumption of services. Discussions will proceed with this aim in mind.”Falkland Islands Government
Additionally, a request by the Falkland Islands Government in December for a compassionate charter flight to Chile has not yet progressed.
Many South American nationals living in the Falklands have been unable to travel home since the pandemic started, however, such a flight would require the permission of the Government of Argentina to fly over their airspace.
Commenting on current negotiations between Argentina and the UK government, who are engaging on behalf of the Falklands, FIG stated that:
“As the Government of Argentina will not directly engage with the Falkland Islands Government we are unable to provide information on any requests or suggestions from GoA on offering flights from mainland South America to the Falklands.”Falkland Islands Government