In a last-minute deal, Brazilian airline Varig has been sold to a Rio De Janeiro investment firm, saving the miles of some 6 million members of Varig’s Smiles frequent flyer program.
The sale, which must be approved by Brazil’s Civil Aviation Agency, will keep the carrier afloat at a time when its survival was in doubt. For months, the cash-strapped carrier has been canceling flights, unable to meet fuel and airport-fee expenses.
The $24 million sale will see Varig split into two groups. One company will assume the airline’s debt, while another will inherit its fleet and frequent flyer program.