Today at 12:02 pm local time, a commercial jet landed at the Bariloche International Airport (BRC)! This is the first commercial aircraft to reach the town since the June 4 eruption of the Puyehue Volcano.
The Andes Airlines charter flight, run by the Brazilian tourism company CVC, departed from São Paulo, Brazil, with 120 tourists, bound for Esquel, Argentina. This was supposed to be another of the special flights they have been running on the weekends, flying tourists to Esquel, then shuttling them to Bariloche by bus. The presence of thick cloud cover prevented them from landing in Esquel, and the air traffic controllers in Bariloche gave the pilot authorization to land at the Bariloche airport instead. The flight landed just past noon, without incident. This is the greatest news in local tourism since the closing of the airport, due to volcanic ash complications, 44 days ago.
Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come and that the airport will soon return to normal operation, receiving flights on a regular basis.