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VARIGViação Aérea Rio Grandense SA (Brazilian Airline)
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An offer made by employee group TGV for Varig was due to be ruled upon on Wednesday (14 June).
Adding Varig Brazilian Airlines is particularly meaningful as Varig is a major South American air carrier, and this recognition of Mercury should lead to other airline support contracts.
The award to VARIG was presented at OAG's annual ceremony in London which was attended by his Royal Highness, the Duke of York, and numerous executives from the airline industry.
Varig said yesterday that it is suspending some flights to the US, Europe and three cities in South America after being forced by a US Bankruptcy Court judge to ground leased aircraft.
According to The Associated Press, Judge Luiz Roberto Ayoub said he would accept the USD449m bid by TGV for the right to take over the domestic and international operations of Varig.
He added that the agreement reflected the long and close relationship between ILFC and VARIG.
The New York/Rio nonstop flights, linking two of the world's most dynamic cities, have long held historical significance for VARIG," said Vincente Cervo, VARIG's Director-North America.
The bid made by a consortium formed by Varig employees was for the rights to domestic and international operations of Varig, but was below the minimum, set at USD860m.
Under the arrangement, Delta will be able to sell tickets under its own name on flights operated by VARIG from Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco to Brazil, as well as on VARIG's flights within Brazil itself.
VARIG is celebrating it 75th Anniversary this year and is a member of the world's leading airline group, Star Alliance.
Varig and the group of employees and unidentified investors who bid for the carrier, NV Participacoes, were granted another extension by Rio de Janeiro bankruptcy court Judge Luiz Roberto Ayoub, who had given the group until Wednesday to make a case for its BRL1.
VARIG said its key Brazilian lending banks are supporting it in its efforts to restructure its aircraft debt and lease agreements.