Aero-Peru in trouble

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LIMA--Aero-Peru, once Peru's flagship airline, is facing serious economic troubles after its major shareholders, Aeromexico and the U.S.-based Delta Airlines, refused to inject more money into the ailing company.

The company has said it needs $10 million immediately to avoid grounding its planes at the end of January. Aero-Peru began a restructuring process Jan. 1, laying off workers, canceling money-losing routes and reducing salaries. A company representative, who asked not to be identified, said the airline is frantically trying to find private investors to buy at least 52% of the company's shares so it can stay in business.

Aero-Peru was privatized in 1993 after operating for 20 years as a state-owned company. It was purchased at the time by Aeromexico. In 1998 the company's economic crisis forced its Mexican owners to look for a strategic partner. Delta Airlines came on board in April 1998 with an initial investment of $50 million, giving it a 35% share in the company.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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