6-Jul-2012 3:38 PM

Pluna closes down

Uruguay's Government has reportedly decided to close Pluna after failing to find new investors to replace investment fund Leadgate which pulled out of the carrier, according to a El Pais report. The Government is instead looking to create a new airline with state participation and ministers will reportedly meet on 09-Jul-2012 to discuss a legislative bill about the new carrier. The Government took over Pluna's operations in mid-Jun-2012 Leadgate, which owned a 75% stake in the carrier, refused to invest further in the carrier. Pluna lost more than USD100 million between 2007 and 2012 due to slowing economic growth in the region, high fuel prices and congestion issues at key airports. The carrier, on 03-Jul-2012, stated it would suspend all services from 21:20 on 03-Jul-2012 to 12:00 on 06-Jul-2012 due to strike action at the carrier. The carrier subsequently stated, on 05-Jul-2012, that "the company's economic-financial situation makes it impossible to ensure adequate operations." The carrier has a fleet of 12 Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft that has been renewed in 2008. It operated services between Montevideo and Punta del Este (Uruguay) and three destinations in Argentina, one in Chile, one in Paraguay and nine in Brazil.

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