March 26, 2019 / 12:49 PM / a month ago

Airline Avianca Brasil to trim fleet size, destinations

SAO PAULO, March 26 (Reuters) - Brazilian carrier Avianca Brasil will reduce its fleet size and cease operations at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport as it downsizes in the wake of a bankruptcy filing in December, the firm said on Tuesday.

The company said in a statement it would seek to reduce the number of destinations it serves to 23 and cut its fleet size to 26 planes over the month of April. It will also cease operations in the cities of Belem and Petrolina, as well as at Rio de Janeiro-Galeao International Airport.

Avianca Brasil filed for bankruptcy in December after falling behind on lease payments for its fleet of more than 45 Airbus SE planes. Since then, it has received various court rulings that have allowed it to hold on to its planes dispute vigorous protests by its lessors.

Brazilian airline Azul SA said recently it would seek to buy Avianca Brasil’s assets, while the struggling airline has received $75 million in financing from New York hedge fund Elliott Management Corp.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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