Azul Raises Bid for Avianca Brasil's Sao Paulo-Rio Routes as Strike Nears

Brazilian airline Azul SA on Monday made a new attempt to purchase some of bankrupt airline Avianca Brasil’s most coveted routes, offering $145 million and reversing a decision not to participate, Reuters reported. Avianca Brasil filed for bankruptcy protection in December, setting off a fierce battle for its airport slots, the rights to land and depart in crowded airports, which were expected to be sold at a bankruptcy auction that was suspended indefinitely. On Monday afternoon, Avianca Brasil’s pilots and aircraft crew said through their union that they would hold an indefinite general strike on Friday, citing recurring delays in payroll. The carrier’s fleet is down to fewer than 10 planes, which has already disrupted air travel in Brazil but also made it difficult for the carrier to raise much-needed cash. Azul had been interested in Avianca Brasil’s slots because it would allow the carrier to break into the profitable route between domestic airports in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, one of the most densely flown in the world. Read more