BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Argentina's government has ordered the region's largest airline to vacate its hangar at the downtown Buenos Aires airport, a move the airline says would force it to stop making domestic flights inside Argentina. LATAM Airlines said Wednesday that it will seek an injunction blocking the eviction of its LAN Argentina subsidiary from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery. LAN Argentina says it invested $5 million in the maintenance hangar, and pays $20,000 a month in rent according to a contract that runs through 2023.
The airports regulator says the state takeover of the hangar is "in the national interest" but otherwise doesn't explain the eviction. If LAN stops making domestic flights in Argentina, the money-losing state airline Aerolineas Argentinas would be free to operate without its toughest competitor.