Brazil authorities approve Varig sale

Brazilian civil aviation authorities on Saturday rapidly approved the sale of Varig’s cargo unit, a move seen as paving the way for the firm to purchase all of the carrier’s operations.Volo do Brasil looks set to purchase the firm for $500 million and came a day after a bankruptcy judge rejected a lower offer from workers group after they failed to come up with a $75 million first payment, the authority said in a statement.

The sale to Volo will open a window for the carrier to be saved and international travel chaos for ticket holders to end.

Volo has submitted an offer to purchase the whole of Varig, a bid that is being evaluated over the weekend by bankruptcy Judge Luiz Roberto Ayoub.

Volo reached a deal to acquire VarigLog at the end of last year for $42 million, but the operation had been held up because Brazilian law allows foreign-owned companies to own just 20 percent of a domestic airline. Volo says it is majority Brazilian-owned.

The airline’s debt is estimated to exceed $3 billion.