German airline will fly Air Madrid routes.
The German company LTU has promised to operate on most of the transatlantic routes formerly run by Air Madrid which went out of business on 15th December 2006 hours before the Civil Aviation Authority withdrew its licence for repeated lapses in the airline safety. It has also agreed to take on 568 of Air Madrid’s employees (52% of the total staff previously employed by Air Madrid). In addition LTU has agreed to carry anyone with a ticket with Air Madrid for a supplement of 250 euros per journey until June 2007.
A deal with LTU has almost been closed with the approval of the aviation authorities in all the South American countries that Air Madrid operated from according to sources from the Ministry of Transport.
The agreement does not involve the owner of Air Madrid, José Luis Carrillo, as the company is not being sold and LTU will not be taking on any of Air Madrid’s debts.
The German company has already requested permission for the flight slots necessary from AENA – the public company that controls the air space in Spain.
Routes will start operating at the end of the month. LTU will continue operating as a German company (as it already does in Spain) with a Central European licence. All planes will fly under the licence of the German company so there should not be any similar problems which led to Air Madrid’s licence being suspended.
LTU has agreed to take on 568 of Air Madrid’s employees out of a total of 1089 worldwide. The Ministry of Transport commented that non of Air Madrid’s former employees in South America will lose their jobs, a fact that helped gain the support of the authorities in those countries.
LTU will run routes between Spain and Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Peru. There will be no flights to Brasil or Colombia due to opposition by Spanish companies over a foreign company operating on those routes.
Later LTU will create a Spanish company LTU España and a licence will be requested under the new company – something which is expected to take between 4 and 6 months.