URUGUAY. Montevideo Carrasco International Airport yesterday welcomed the return of Air France-KLM services on a five times a week schedule.

Air France-KLM flight AF394 from Paris via Buenos Aires touched down at 10.40 am, receiving a water shower from airport emergency services and rapturous applause from assembled politicians, industry representatives and media.

The arrival of Air France AF394

The addition of the Paris route is certainly welcome new for airport authority Puerta del Sur, which is working closely with the Uruguayan government to develop its international network.

Last July’s closure of Uruguayan flag carrier Pluna heavily impacted passenger traffic at Carrasco, and while other airlines including TAM, GOL and BQB have picked up their capacity, Iberia’s decision to withdraw its Montevideo–Madrid services came as a further blow.

Air France had not flown to Montevideo since 2002, when it withdrew due to falling demand after the economic crisis in Mercosur.

Puerta del Sur Chief Executive Officer Diego Arrosa said that securing the Air France-KLM route confirmed the airport’s strategy of working closely with the public sector.

Arrosa observed that the majority of passengers would be from Spain and are proven consumers of airport commercial services.

Puerta del Sur Chief Executive Officer Diego Arrosa addresses the media at yesterday’s event; to his right Air France-KLM General Director International and Netherlands Etienne Rachou, Uruguayan Minister of Tourism Liliam Kechichián and Minister of Transport Enrique Pintado
Diego Arrosa presents Etienne Rachou with the history of Carrasco Airport
ASUTIL Secretary-General José Luis Donagaray (right) at the event with Alfredo Vaneskaian of Diamantes FM (left) and Benjamin Guelfi of Posadas, Posadas y Vecino