SAO PAULO: Argentinians and Brazilians are celebrating the launch of latest flights between their international locations and the Arab world — an indication of the rising financial and cultural relations between the 2 areas.
A few of these routes was once energetic however have been canceled as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. Others are new endeavors ensuing from the notion that the variety of passengers and items between South America and Arab nations will continue to grow within the coming years.
Through the ITB Berlin Conference — one of many world’s main tourism festivals — in March, Qatar Airways introduced that it’s going to resume quite a few worldwide flights, together with one to Argentina.
Since 2010, the airline had a every day flight between Doha and Buenos Aires with a stopover within the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo, however it was canceled in 2020 as a result of pandemic.
Information web site Infobae reported that on the conference, Ricardo Sosa, govt secretary of Argentina’s Nationwide Institute of Tourism Promotion, met with executives from the UAE’s Etihad Airways. They mentioned a possible flight between Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires.
Sosa mentioned Etihad operated a flight to Sao Paulo years in the past, and now Argentina is seen as a potential vacation spot within the airline’s enlargement plan. That will be the primary direct flight between Asia and Argentina.
Infobae reported that Sosa additionally met with executives from EgyptAir and mentioned the institution of a flight between Buenos Aires and Cairo.
Spanish airline MasterFlights lately introduced that it’s going to function direct constitution flights between Cairo and Sao Paulo utilizing EgyptAir planes.
The primary flight is scheduled for Sept. 4. The flights will happen each Monday for a yr, and connections will embody Amman, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Istanbul and Egyptian cities.
Based on the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce — generally known as CCAB in Portuguese — direct flights between Egypt and Brazil operated by EgyptAir have been mentioned by the international locations’ presidents. An settlement with the airline is being negotiated.
“The deal is about to be signed. After that, it have to be ratified by the Egyptian Parliament. We contemplate that it could actually occur this yr,” CCAB CEO Tamer Mansour informed Arab Information, including that the bulletins made by Center Japanese airways relating to South America present that the relationships between the 2 areas are being strengthened.
“These new flights reveal that the Arab world is seeing South American international locations, particularly Brazil and Argentina, as vital locations, each for tourism and investments.”
Mansour mentioned Argentina and Brazil play a key position in exporting meals — particularly grains, beef and poultry — to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and different Arab nations.
In 2022, Argentina’s exports to the Center East and North Africa reached $8.6 billion. Brazilian exports to the Arab world grew 23 % in 2022 in comparison with the earlier yr, reaching $17.7 billion — the best annual determine since 1989.
“Arab international locations count on these nations’ economies to continue to grow, and partnerships with them in a number of areas are already occurring,” Mansour mentioned, including that Sao Paulo is a serious enterprise hub for Arab executives, and direct flights make it simpler for them to go to their dwelling international locations.
“Buenos Aires, then again, is a extremely appreciated tourism vacation spot for a lot of Arabs.”
Alfredo Abboud, secretary-general of the Argentinian Chamber of Commerce and Providers for the UAE, informed Arab Information that the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which occurred in Qatar, had a really constructive impression on tourism between Argentina and the Center East.
“There was a lot ignorance relating to the Arab world in Argentina, however after visiting Qatar, many Argentinian vacationers noticed the reality and realized that the views disseminated by the media are flawed,” he mentioned.
The Argentinian Embassy in Doha estimated that 35,000-40,000 Argentinian soccer followers traveled to Qatar for the event, Agence France-Presse reported.
Abboud mentioned he expects steady progress in Argentina’s commerce with Center Japanese international locations, including that lately the nation has been exporting a variety of merchandise, together with industrial items.
“However the main factor for us must be meals. That’s what we’ve all the time produced. And the Arab nations see us as companions that may provide meals safety for them.”
Abboud mentioned “a possible cargo flight” to Argentina “operated by a Saudi airline” is being mentioned.
He expressed hope that with extra flights, bilateral tourism will develop, “and with extra vacationers, Argentina might broaden a halal construction of eating places and lodges.”
He mentioned there are few halal lodges in Argentina, and a state coverage is required to be able to develop the suitable Muslim-friendly community.
Muslim guests can already discover many halal choices in Brazil, mentioned Ali Saifi, CEO of Cdial Halal, a certification firm within the nation.
Final yr, he took half within the course of of remodeling the Brazilian metropolis of Foz do Iguacu, on the border with Argentina and Paraguay, right into a halal vacation spot.
“Now the variety of vacationers coming from the Arab world will definitely develop. Direct flights assist our international locations to get nearer,” he informed Arab Information.
The brand new routes can even enable extra Latin Individuals to go to the Center East, mentioned Marcos Destro, who directs GoToBEY, a tourism company that focuses on the Arab market.
“Most of our purchasers are Brazilians of Arab descent. With the decline of the pandemic, a lot of them have been feeling an urge to know their ancestral land,” he informed Arab Information.
New routes will enable them to get there with out stopovers. “Direct flights can even assist folks touring to different locations. Dubai Airport is already a serious hub, in addition to Istanbul,” Destro mentioned.
Mansour expressed hope that Center Japanese airways’ curiosity in Latin America will continue to grow within the coming years. “Perhaps we’ll have new flights from Saudi Arabia and Morocco quickly,” he mentioned.