LATAM Airlines, the region’s largest carrier, said Argentina was a bright spot for sales, company executives said after reporting full-year results. The company warned however, it does not see demand recovering soon in Brazil, but that regional demand was “relatively healthy”. Reuters reports.
Telecom Italia has completed the lengthy sale of Telecom Argentina, after receiving regulatory approval for the deal. The Italian firm announced it has sold its remaining 51 percent stake in Sofora Telecomunicaciones – Telecom Argentina’s holding company – to Fintech for $550.6 million.
Last year was a good one for global airlines. Thanks to falling fuel prices and an increased demand for air travel, the industry earned an estimated $33 billion in 2015. Carriers around the globe earned near-record profits.
Not so in Argentina, where according to official figures state-run Aerolíneas Argentinas operated at a loss of nearly $10 million through the first eight months of the year. The airline is now expected to need financial support of around $1 billion in 2016, or roughly half of what the government spent on education in 2015.
Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri has vowed to put Aerolíneas Argentinas on a path to profitibility, promising to address the public subsidies on which Aerolíneas relies as part of a broad range of economic reforms. But turning Aerolíneas around will not be easy; structural challenges – and a long history of instability – will be difficult to overcome.
Aerolíneas Argentinas has closely followed the ups and downs of Argentina’s economy for the last several decades. Unfortunately, that has generally meant trying times. After suffering through hyperinflation in the 1980s, the airline was sold to Spanish airline Iberia, only to continue to lose money and get traded several more times before 2008. Effectively bankrupt, the administration of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Macri’s predecessor, renationalized Aerolíneas. The move improved operational reliability, but at the astonishing price of nearly $4 billion – enough to buy TAM, South America’s largest airline, two times over.
Major creditors suing Argentina over defaulted bonds have agreed to the economic terms of an agreement to resolve the long-running litigation but need more time to complete the $5 billion deal, a lawyer for the investors said Wednesday. The disclosure came during a hearing before a federal appeals court in New York, where the panel said it will allow a U.S. judge to move forward with lifting injunctions that restrict Argentina from paying off some debts.
US President Barack Obama’s decision to visit Argentina in March shows the country is mending its diplomatic ties after years of tension, Argentine President Mauricio Macri told AFP on Monday.
“It signifies a recognition of a change that has taken place in Argentina, towards good relations with the world, relations which must be mature, intelligent and mutually beneficial,” Macri said in an interview at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires.