Uruguay may once again have a flag carrier after three years. According to the government of the South American country, a group of investors plans to create a 100% private airline soon.
The new company’s plans should be presented to the National Directorate of Civil Aviation and Aeronautical Infrastructure (Dinacia) in February.
Juan José Olaizola, interim Minister of Public Works, confirmed a meeting with representatives of the group in the second half of 2023, but did not reveal the identity of the company.
Uruguay has not had a local carrier since 2021, when Amaszonas Uruguay ceased operations. The airline was launched in 2016 in a joint venture between BQB Lineas Aereas and Amaszonas of Bolivia.
The best-known Uruguayan airline, however, was Pluna, founded in 1936 and nationalized in 1951.
Although with a modest fleet of planes, the airline even had flights between Montevideo and New York and Miami, in the United States, using old Boeing 707s.
In 1995, the government of Uruguay sold part of Pluna’s capital to a consortium of Argentine companies and, later, to VARIG, from Brazil.
However, in the following years economic problems in neighboring Argentina and Brazil ended up causing losses to Pluna, then with a renewed fleet of Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jets.
In 2012, amid high debts, Pluna’s operations were suspended and its assets were auctioned, including seven CRJ-900 jets.