Allende & Brea – Estudio Jurídico

Open skies policies according to Decree of Necessity and Urgency No. 70/2023

The Argentine President and all his Ministers issued the decree of necessity and urgency 70/2023 (the “Decree”), which substantially amends, among other measures, Argentina’s Aerocommercial Regime.

The main aspects contained in the Decree are:

  1. Repeals of restrictive legislation affecting competition. The Decree repeals Decree-Law No. 12507/56 on National Aeronautical Policy; Law No. 19030 on Aerocommercial Transportation; Decree No. 1654/02 on Aerocommercial Transportation; and Sections 125, 126, and 127 of Section E: Transportation of Postal Cargo of the Aeronautical Code – Law No. 17285.
  2. Amendments. The Decree declares aero-commercial civil aeronautics as an essential service; the concept of commercial aeronautics includes essential air transport services and aerial work services. The enforcement authority will supervise air navigation service providers under the principles of guaranteeing safety, free competition, and access to markets.

The Decree eliminates the prohibition for foreign airlines to take passengers, cargo, or mail in the Argentine Republic for transportation to another point in the country. It also removes the obligation for individuals operating air transportation services to be Argentine. It eliminates the provision that, in the case of a company, the majority of the shares, to which the majority of computable votes correspond, must be nominal and belong to Argentine citizens with domicile in the country. In addition, the Decree facilitates that commercial aero companies can transfer shares without requiring regulatory approval.

In addition, the authorization to operate on a route does not imply exclusivity. The enforcement authorities shall promote healthy competition rules per the principles of market freedom.

The Decree also excludes fees from prior approval by the aeronautical authority. The fees are freely set by the companies and without any restriction. Fees must be registered before the enforcement authority to disclose the terms, conditions, penalties, and limitations. Additionally, the Antitrust Law will govern business agreements with an operational impact that involves sharing commercialization codes, connection, consolidation or merger of services or businesses.

The Decree incorporates, in the Aircraft Registry, the possibility of registration by electronic means or in the format provided by the aeronautical authority. In general, any registration or annotation of any fact or legal act that may alter or be linked to the legal situation of the aircraft will be made.

Furthermore, the Decree establishes that The National Government shall issue a General Regulation on Civil Aviation Infractions. Until such time, the current infractions system will be in force, with some modifications in fines.

However, most measures will become operational when regulations specify the necessary timelines and digital instruments to make them operative.

This report cannot be considered as legal or any other kind of advice by Allende & Brea. For any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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