Spanish airline Air Comet Plus will operate in seven Latin American countries previously covered by the now closed down Air Madrid airline. The operation was allowed after Spanish Public Works Minister Magdalena Alvarez and Air Comet president Gerardo Díaz signed an agreement.
Alvarez was pleased with the agreement because it represents progress following the Air Madrid fiasco last year. The airline's operating license was suspended last December due to repeated flight delays and customer complaints. The suspension of all operations left thousands of passengers ÃÂ¢€" included many Chileans ÃÂ¢€" stranded around the world. "This agreement was held with the company that made the best offer and which met all the requirements needed to come to a solution," said Alvarez. A spokesman from Marsans Group ÃÂ¢€" the Spanish conglomerate that owns Air Comet Plus ÃÂ¢€" said this week the company is hoping to acquire half of Air Madrid's crew and its entire fleet of airplanes. This operation is part of an US$ 77 million expansion plan projected for 2008. The airline will fly to Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, and Costa Rica. All routes are confirmed, except Chile and Ecuador, where negotiations between the airline and local authorities are still in progress. It will also try to obtain a greater number of slots at Mexico City and Havana airports for Spanish airlines. Air Comet has asked for seven slots into Mexico City and four at Havana, Cuba.