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Argentina Approves 135 New Airline Routes

Argentina Approves  135 New Airline RoutesArgentina Approves  135 New Airline Routes

Argentina's civil aviation authority approved on Monday 135 new routes for five airlines looking to operate in Latin America's No. 3 economy at more competitive prices.

President Mauricio Macri's government estimates airlines such as Colombia's Avianca will invest $1.7 billion in Argentina in the next four years, giving Argentines more travel options, Reuters reported.

The companies approved, pending a green light from the transportation ministry, are FB Lineas Aereas, Andes Lineas Aereas, American Jet, Alas del Sur and Avian Lineas Aereas, the local unit of Avianca Holdings SA.

The companies have three months to prove their technical capacity before they can start flying the routes, according to documents from the aviation authority, Anac.

The government's embrace of more competition in Argentine skies, particularly of budget airlines, has generated protests by airline employees who fear the competition will undercut benefits enjoyed by employees of state-run Aerolineas Argentinas and LAN Argentina, a unit of LATAM Airlines Group.

Low cost airlines such as Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA are also expected to request routes in Argentina in the coming months.

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