Almost a year after AeroPeru stopped flying, Lima has revoked the airline's operating permit and confirmed that its international routes are available for re-allocation. For TACA Peru and LanPeru, the move comes none too soon.

The director general for air transport (DGTA) delayed cancelling AeroPeru's permit because a group of the former flag carrier's employees are trying to devise a plan to restart the airline.

The employees have support from a Miami-based company, Aztec Corporation, which claims to have investors throughout North and Central America willing to put up $25 million to restart the carrier.

The group missed a self-imposed deadline of mid-February to deliver its restructuring plan.

It is unclear if the DGTA decided to revoke AeroPeru's permit because the plan was late, or vice versa. Alberto Pandolfi, minister for transport and communications, says that AeroPeru could re-apply for its permit whenever it thought it had the technical and financial ability to operate.

The government is under growing pressure from Peru's airlines to reallocate AeroPeru's dormant routes. Daniel Ratti, chief executive of TACA Peru, has been outspoken about his airline's need for international routes in the light of the low yields possible on flights within Peru. Because of those low yields, his airline has been slow to expand its domestic network.

Ratti complains he needs to boost TACA Peru's revenue to keep the support of its key investor, Grupo TACA, which holds 49% of its equity.

TACA Peru, LanPeru and AeroContinente are interested in acquiring new routes. None have been announced, but early indications are that LanPeru might gain US routes to Los Angeles and New York; TACA Peru could add flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mexico City, Sïo Paulo, Brazil, and San José in Costa Rica.

AeroContinente, which recently launched services to La Paz in Bolivia, and Santiago in Chile, and has opened its own Chilean domestic flights, would gain Caribbean routes to Havana, Cuba, and Santo Domingo.

Source: Airline Business