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Inside Lima’s airport terminal (Photo: VasenkaPhotography – https://www.flickr.com/photos/vasenka/8722356428/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26698429)

Peruvian Congress Commission Approves Creation of National Carrier

In the middle of the worst crisis in commercial aviation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Transport Commission of the Peruvian Congress approved by a majority (9 votes in favor and 1 against) a bill that declares the creation of a national airline of interest.

It is important to remember that, for the moment, it is only known that the initiative may pass in the coming weeks to one of the sessions of the Entire Peruvian Congress where it will be defined whether it is approved or rejected by the legislators.

Through Bill No. 6153/2020-CR, the Peruvian Congress seeks to create a national airline, with the objective of conducting at the beginning domestic operations. The name that this new carrier may have would be Línea Aérea Nacional del Perú – LAPERU.

LAPERU would be a public-private company, having a 35% participation by regional governments and 65% of national or foreign private capital.

LAPERU’s capital stock is planned to be 75 million dollars, divided into 75 shares of 1 million dollars each that will be subscribed and paid by the 25 regions of Peru through the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

This initial capital contribution would be 35% of the shares and the Regional Governments would own 3 shares each, and the remaining national or foreign private capital represented by 65% ​​would be subscribed and paid via a capital increase.

The issued shares would be listed on the Lima Stock Exchange and on International Stock Exchanges.

LAPERU would be made up of the General Meeting of Shareholders, the Board of Directors that would be made up of 7 members: 3 representing the Peruvian State and 4 from private capital, and a General Manager.

Despite this initiative, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Eduardo Gonzáles, showed his rejection of this initiative, because according to him, this project would be unconstitutional.

“The Ministry of Transport and Communications indicated our opinion that we do not agree with an initiative of this nature, which also violates Article 60 of the Constitution, which indicates that the State can carry out business activity subsidiarily before the high public interest or of manifest national convenience”, he said.

In addition, the minister pointed out that it is inconvenient to declare the creation of a state airline as a national interest in the current scenario. “In the middle of a crisis in the country and in the aeronautical industry itself, raising an issue like this on the agenda is out of all context. On this, we will continue to reaffirm our position”.

According to Gestión, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sent a letter to the Transport and Communications Commission of the Congress of the Republic, where they reject the bill that declares the creation of a flag airline of national interest.

The IATA suggested to reconsider the proposal to create a new airline and, failing that, redirect that effort and corresponding resources to allow existing operators, whether low-cost or not, to enter the Peruvian market, even declaring it as of national interest and of preferential need public.

Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
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