LATAM Airlines suspends Argentina operations Indefinitely

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LATAM Airlines Group has announced on Wednesday its Argentine subsidiary will suspend operations indefinitely, canceling all domestic flights, its first major cutback since filing for bankruptcy protection.

A LATAM spokesman told Reuter, that the subsidiary will begin a government process in Argentina before it can lay off 1,715 employees.

The airline said it will not fly domestically in Argentina but will maintain international flights, managed by other subsidiaries.

LATAM blamed the decision in part on Argentina’s government, which has imposed one of the world’s toughest travel bans, drawing an outcry from the industry.

LATAM said “local industry actors” in Argentina had been difficult to deal with and “made it impossible to foresee a viable and sustainable long-term project.” LATAM’s competitors have accused Argentina’s government of blindsiding them.

A source at Argentina’s transport ministry, which regulates air traffic, argued nothing had been decided yet.

“We have to wait for LATAM to meet with the labor ministry,” the source said.

Airlines around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic but especially so in Latin America, where governments have been reluctant to offer state aid to carriers while also imposing tougher travel bans than in other regions.

(Reuters)

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