Wed, Jul 14, 2004
Amid Aviation Crisis, Aero Continente Can't Get Insurance
The Peruvian government Monday
grounded the country's biggest commercial air carrier, after Aero
Continente was blacklisted by the US government.
The Peruvian Transportation Ministry grounded Aero Continente
after the airline's insurance carrier, Global Aerospace, cancelled
its coverage. At first, the government pledged to act as the
airline's guarantor. But Monday, ministry officials reversed
themselves, saying they couldn't find an insurance company to
Global cancelled Aero Continente's policy after the airline and
its founder appeared on a US list of suspected drug traffickers.
Blacklisted companies and individuals aren't allowed to do business
with US companies. Global Aerospace is partially owned by interests
in the US.
The airline's founder, 47-year old Fernando Zevallos, has been
targeted in several US drug investigations. Aero Continente was
barred from US skies in April, after the FAA said it failed several
Aero Continente handles about 65-percent of Peru's passenger
traffic. Monday, the government was scrambling to allow other
carriers to take over Aero Continente routes, since no airline can
fly without insurance in Peru.
The Peruvian government move came after officials declared an
aviation industry "state of emergency." Peru is hosting the
12-nation Copa America soccer tournament. Workers at several
airports are threatening to strike and then there's the mess with
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