Don’t blog at 4am! Apologies for moving Pluna and its bankruptcy to the wrong country! And with friends from both countries, I should know better. PLUNA Líneas Aéreas Uruguayas S.A., headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay (not Paraguay) was the country’s 75 year old flag carrier. The company was liquidated by its owner the Government of Uruguay on 5th July 2012, two days after employees went on strike. The airline had a mixed history of ownership and a series of financial losses.
Thats the 17th airline to vanish in 2012 and the third flag carrier to go this year (Malev and Air Zimbabwe) being the others. I had flown those other two flag carriers but never got to try PLUNA. Skytrax rated them a 3 star airline and Skytrax passengers rated them 6.8 out of ten.
The Uruguayan government announced that PLUNA’s fleet and their routes will be auctioned within two months. Further, the government passed a law on July 17, preventing it from owning a stake in any new airline.
At its collapse, the airline had 13 Bombardier CRJ900s flying to 16 destinations. Their Montevideo, Uruguay to Buenos Aires, Argentina was their busiest and most profitable route, apparently responsible for generating over half of all company revenue.
TAM Airlines, Transportes Aéreos del Mercosur S.A., the flag carrier and the national airline of Paraguay is still flying!