After dodging a petition to declare it insolvent, led by lessor GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), Transbrasil continues to experience problems that may lead to restructuring.

The Sao Paulo, Brazil-based private airline has been struggling against mounting losses that have seen its debts soar to $800 million and has been trying to renegotiate its debts with lessors and suppliers. The airline claims these discussions were jeopardised by GECAS' bankruptcy charge, and has initiated legal action against the leasing company (Flight International, 24-30 July P23).

The reorganisation could include halving Transbrasil's 2,900 workforce, reducing its domestic network and returning some of its Boeing 737-300s to lessors, and performing a sale-leaseback deal involving its three 767-200s. Talks have reportedly begun with Continental Airlines about the sale of a 40% shareholding in the airline.

Earlier this month, Transbrasil was forced to return two 737-300s to Ansett Worldwide, and Pegasus repossessed the carrier's sole 767-300ER as it was about to depart on a flight. Only eight of the airline's 11 aircraft remain operational because of difficulty in obtaining spares.

Employees have already staged a 12h walk-out and more are threatened.

Source: Flight International