More than 100 representatives of the Argentine government, tourism and travel industries and media will arrive at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport on Wednesday, Aug. 18, on LAPA airlines’ inaugural flight from Buenos Aires to Atlanta.

LAPA (Lineas Aereas Privadas Argentinas) will have a year to promote its new nonstop flights between Atlanta and Buenos Aires as the sole nonstop carrier before a new air services agreement between the U.S. and Argentina goes into effect.

Under the agreement, which was reached last week, new carriers will be unable to enter the Argentine market until September 2000 or June 2001, and the open skies regime will not be completely effective until 2003

LAPA’s flights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will leave Atlanta at 10:00 p.m. and arrive in Buenos Aires at 9:00 a.m. They will leave Buenos Aires at 9:00 p.m. and arrive in Atlanta at 6:40 a.m.

Delta Air Lines officials applauded the new air services agreement. Scott Yohe, Delta’s senior vice president for government affairs, said that Delta applied for Atlanta-Buenos Aires authority on Friday of last week, the day following the signing of the agreement.

According to Mr. Yohe, a new route to Buenos Aires is Delta’s top priority in its Latin American expansion, and Delta expects the U.S. Department of Transportation to promptly institute a regulatory proceeding to award new operating opportunities in Argentina.

“Delta will make a strong case to begin Atlanta-Buenos Aires service on Sept. 1, 2000,” he said.

Camilo Buendia, formerly passenger route development manager for Hartsfield, has been appointed LAPA’s general manager here.  He may be reached at (770) 579-8373; fax, (770) 977-9489.  His E-mail address is