SANTIAGO Aug 23 Argentina is confident that
LATAM Airlines, whose local unit was ordered out of its hangar
at Buenos Aires' domestic airport, will continue operations, and
it should talk with regulators to resolve the issue, Argentina's
foreign minister said.
"We are sure that (LATAM unit) LAN is going to continue
operating in Argentina in accordance with the rules established
by the authorities," said Hector Timerman on Friday.
Timerman is in Chile, where LATAM Airlines Group SA
is headquartered, to discuss bilateral
relations between the two countries.
Argentina's airport regulator said on Tuesday that LAN
Argentina had 10 days to vacate the hangar at domestic airport
Aeroparque because it was not a state airline. LAN Argentina is
the main competitor of Argentina's flagship, Aerolineas
Argentinas, which was nationalized in 2008.
"LAN will resolve its problems by talking with the relevant
authorities," Timerman said, adding that the government could
assist, but could not resolve the company's problems.
LATAM, formed in a merger last year between Chile's LAN and
Brazil's TAM, has said the action puts its domestic Argentine
operations at risk and has threatened legal action.
The move has caused tensions between the South American
neighbours and created another headache for LATAM, which is
already struggling with a weakening Brazilian economy, outside
its home country.
The airline's shares were 3.71 percent higher on Friday
afternoon, outperforming a 1.22 percent rise on Santiago's
blue-chip IPSA stock index.