Since Argentina is labeled Category 2 by the FAA, LV registered planes cannot fly commercial flights to the US.
That is not entirely accurate: Under Cat. 2 rules, any airline from a Cat. 2 labeled country that wishes to initiate service to the US is not allowed to do so, unless it leases planes with Cat. 1 countries reg and foreign crews in order to be allowed to fly to the US (the latter is not completely allowed under Argentinean law, it would have to be a combination of local+foreign crew (as it was the case when Southern Winds flew to Miami: Air Atlanta+A4 crew)). HOWEVER, in the case of existing service , such as AR
(since 1950!!), it is restricted to the existing destinations (JFK
) and may not change equipment. Aerolineas won approval to add the 744 fleet to the existing 742 and 340 flights, to both MIA
's been wanting to return to LAX
(it pulled out of it in 2000, when it went into Argentina's equivalent of Chapter 11 "Concurso Preventivo de Acreedores", but still holds the authority to fly there). AR
began flying to LAX
in 1969 with 707s and moved on to 742 and 310 in the 80s and 90s.
I suppose the question is why is Argentina in Cat II
(since 2002)? Sources in B. Aires say this has a lot to do with the cancellation of the Open Skies agreement between the US and Argentina, in 2001, and very little to do with Commercial Aviation Oversight by the Argentinean authorities. Unfortunately for Argentina, the current Kirchner administration has no commercial aviation policy whatsoever: therefore the issue seems not to be a top priority for them (and since it directly affects Aerolineas, then it less of an urgency, given the little love lost between AR
and the Kirchner administration). In the meantime, AA
adds a daily flight to EZE
, a third AA MIA
daily is in the works, UA
adds a second daily service, this time from ORD
, and DL
returns to EZE
, daily. It seems the only beneficiary from this silly policy are the US carriers: it shows when a government cares about their airlines (US) and the Argentinean approach (we give a toss...)
My .02 cents from DC!!!!