The Uruguayan government is considering financial support of a new airline, AirPluna, proposed by the former employees of grounded national carrier Pluna.
A source at Uruguay's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says that the transport commission of the Senate has received the proposal to relaunch Pluna under the new name of AirPluna.
He says that the key element of the proposal is to assign the seven Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft acquired by Pluna, but financially guaranteed by the Uruguayan state, to AirPluna, to maintain the financial guarantee with the creditor banks.
"They proposed to get government support to pay the debt of $136 million for all seven aircraft over a ten year period, as well as to capitalise some social benefits the government would not have to pay by keeping part of the former Pluna employees working for the new company," the source adds.
In order to make the proposal more viable, the employees' association also agreed to reduce their salaries by 25% and to make up for the balance through productivity increases.
Uruguay's president Jose Mujica had changed his initial position of not supporting any Pluna successor, and suggested in late November that he could support tax breaks, fuel tax subsidiaries and other measures to help the former employees relaunch the airline.