April 8, 2019 / 10:42 PM / 5 months ago

Brazil court rules in favor of lessors to repossess Avianca Brasil planes

SAO PAULO, April 8 (Reuters) - A Brazilian appeals court ruled on Monday in favor of several Avianca Brasil lessors, granting them the right to repossess over 15 planes, legal records show, amid a renewed push to retrieve the Airbus jets from the struggling airline.

Avianca Brasil filed for bankruptcy in December after falling behind on airplane lease payments and has managed to hold on to most of its planes amid a dizzying number of court cases.

But while Brazilian judges had previously blocked repossession efforts pending a creditors meeting on the fate of Avianca Brasil’s debts, that hurdle has now been cleared.

On Friday, Avianca Brasil’s creditors met and approved a series of auctions to sell the carrier’s airport slots.

The airline declined to comment.

The carrier had previously announced that it would progressively reduce the number of destinations it serves throughout April.

The lessors involved include Aircastle and Aviation Capital Group, which had leased Avianca Brasil a combined 18 planes, as of early this year.

The legal decisions were unanimous and issued orally by a panel of three appeal court judges. They were confirmed by two sources with knowledge of the information. (Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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