Friday, December 28, 2012

ex-PLUNA Employees need US$ 15 million more for New Airline

El Observador of Uruguay reports that the former employees of PLUNA forming a new carrier to replace the former national airline need US$ 15 million more to get the new operation off the ground.

Their business plan calls for US$ 30 million in start-up capital.  They are already getting US$ 15 million from the Fondo del Desarollo (Fondes), the Uruguayan state entity that provides development funds to new enterprises plus the Uruguayan government is likely to assume two years of debt payments on the seven CRJ-900's that will form the new carrier's fleet, effectively subsidizing the new operation by US$ 34.4 million.  

The employees were looking to receive the additional US$ 15 million from the Venezuelan state development bank BANDES but that bank's losses this year make such financing unlikely.  They are reportedly talking with two other banks at the present time about loans for the operation.          

The new carrier was planning to start up on April 1 but the employees will need the financing in place before then to meet that date.  Also, Uruguayan government legislation tied to the use of the assets of the former PLUNA call for the replacement airline to be operational within 180 days or the assets will be freed up for possible use by the proposed carriers of other parties.

Source:  El Observador 27Dec12  

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