Aerolíneas Argentinas

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Aerolíneas Argentinas (Spanish: Argentine Airlines) is the largest airline in Argentina and serves as Argentina's flag carrier.[1] The airline, based in Buenos Aires,[2] operates from hubs at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery for domestic and regional flights and Ministro Pistarini International Airport for international services. Aerolíneas Argentinas will join SkyTeam in 2012. [3]



The airline's history can be traced back to the year 1929, when carrier Aeroposta Argentina started operations. The Argentine government, recognizing Argentina's vast geographic size and the need for fast transportation links between the countryside and the larger cities, established an airline company to carry passengers and mail. The first two destinations served were Mendoza and Posadas. Frenchmen Jean Mermoz and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry were among the company's first pilots.

In 1946, the government of Argentina imposed some organization on the country's airlines forming a system of mixed-stock companies. Aside from Aeroposta, three new joint stock companies were created out of the airlines that had sprung up in the 1930s. ALFA (Aviación del Litoral Fluvial Argentino) was formed by merging two private airlines, FAMA (Flota Aérea Mercante Argentina), which set the precedent for the nation's international air service, operating Avro Yorks on services to Europe, and ZONDA (Zonas Oeste y Norte de Aerolíneas Argentinas) took over PANAGRA's domestic trade network in the northwest.

In May 1949, all these carriers merged under the name Aerolíneas Argentinas. Operations started on 7 December 1950. At this time, Argentina did not have suitable airport facilities, so the government of Juan Perón built Ministro Pistarini airport; General Juan Pistarini, after whom the facilities are named, designed and directed its construction. Key to the airline's growth were Alfonso Aliaga García, and Dirk Wessel Van Layden, who had been a pilot with French carrier Aéropostale (not to be confused with Aeroposta) and was influential in raising flying standards.

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