Yesterday, Argentina’s 2nd biggest airline, Austral Lineas Aéreas merged into Argentina’s flag carrier, Aerolinéas Argentinas. The merger process began in the beginning of May this year after having failed in previous years. As a consequence of the merger, a new cargo division of Aerlinéas Argentinas will be created as well as a new third-party maintenance unit.
Austral Linéas Aéreas was founded under its current name in 1971 from the merger of Aerotransportes Litoral Argentino (ALA) and Compañia Austral de Transportes Aéreos SACI (CATASACI) . The latter already possessed a 30% stake in ALA as of 1966. Funnily enough, at the time of their merger ALA, had 3 Japanese NAMC YS-11 turboprops in its fleet, of which only 185 were produced. In 1980 Austral Linéas Aéreas became a government-owned company, which significantly lowered its economic performance. Attempts to re-privatise the airline later in the decade failed. Aerolinéas Argentinas, which was founded in 1947, was its main competitor at the time. The Argentinian government decided to privatise Austral Linéas Aéreas in 1986, which caused Aerolinéas Argentinas pilots to go on strike, claiming that their salaries were much lower than those of its rival’s pilots. This caused all Aerolinéas Argentinas flights to be indefinitely suspended as of the 1st of July 1986. Austral benifitted greatly from the flag carrier’s loss of its share of flights.
After recurring sales, acquisitions and re-privatisations Austral finally met its end yesterday after having merged with Aerolinéas Argentinas. A long and troubled history for both airlines has come to an end… or at least one can hope. 2nd of December 2020.