Air Transport World

Latin America/Caribbean. (ATW's World Airline Report).(Statistical Data Included)

Aces: The Colombian carrier has joined with Avianca and SAM in the Summa Alliance, and the three inaugurated joint schedules in May to 23 destinations in Colombia and 19 international points.

Aces last year posted an operating loss of $4.2 million and a net loss of $5.9 million on revenues of $193.4 million after enjoying a profit of $2.1 million in 2000, Traffic remained essentially level.

Aerolineas Argentinas: The Argentine flag carrier and sister airline Austral were sold in October by Spanish state holding company SEPI to Grupo Marsans, a private Spanish tour operator. The buyer agreed to take over half of Aerolineas Argentinas' $1.2 billion debt and inject $50 million to recapitalize the two carriers. It also agreed to keep all employees for two years. Employees, who control the 8% of the airline not held by SEPI, will be able to subscribe to 10% of the planned $50 million capital increase. A further 15% was available to Argentine institutional investors.

Grupo Marsans said it expects synergies with the other companies it controls including tour operator Viajes Marsans, Air Comet and Air Plus. New Aerolineas Argentinas CEO Antonio Mata said he expects the carrier to end this year with only "nominal" losses.

AeroMexico: The Mexican airline was to have been privatized last year along with sister government-owned carrier Mexicana but conditions did not allow it. The government is trying again this year to sell its majority interest in holding company Cintra, pareat of the airlines, and is looking for an investment bank Cintra planned to begin the bidding process last month.

AeroMexico is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and provides direct services to 43 cities in Mexico, 80 destinations in the US and Canada and six countries in Europe. As a consequence of the worldwide economic lowdown and the aftermath of Sept 1, passenger boardings slid 4.8% last year, RPKs were down 4% and FTKs fell 14.1%. Service to the US generates a third of its revenues.

Early this year the airline renegotiated $65 million in trust certificates due 2006 after its financial ratios declined below minimum covenant levels. …

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