Argentina to seize Aerolineas from Spanish company

18th Dec 2008

Argentina’s senate has voted to pass a bill allowing the expropriation of national airline, Aerol’neas Argentinas , which has been owned by Spanish travel group Marsans for nearly two decades.

The ousted owners Marsans are now planning to sue the Argentine government for more than US$1bn at the World Bank’s arbitration tribunal, and a protracted legal battle looks set.Jorge Molina, an Aerol’neas director, told the Financial Times that the approval comes as “no surprise ... but it still hurts”.
The law declares troubled Aerolineas and its sister company Austral are a public service due to the size of the country and the flag carrier’s duty to serve even unprofitable routes.
Aerol’neas has 80 per cent of the domestic air market but operates all of its 33 routes at a loss.


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