Politics hampers LaMia takeoff


LaMia RJ85 EI-RJM

RJ85 EI-RJM painted in LaMia colors (Matt Varley)

The launch of Venuezuelan airline Línea Aérea Mérida Internacional de Aviación C.A. (LaMia) is being hampered by political opposition. One member of the National Assembly, in particular, has launched a myriad accusations against the airline and the municipal authorities that support it – accusations that both have strongly rejected. As a result, the National Civil Aviation Institute (INAC) has yet to issue an AOC to the airline. In frustration, LaMia withdrew its personnel from Mérida’s Alberto Carnevali Airport in mid-September. Delivery of the airline’s first RJ85 has thus been delayed. EI-RJL (msn E2349) left Norwich for Dublin on September 8 in anticipation of her ferry flight to Venezuela, but she remains parked at Dublin. The airline’s second RJ85, EI-RJM (msn E2350) was recently rolled out in full LaMiA colors at Norwich, and then test flown. Like EI-RJL, she is a former CityJet example, and had been in storage at Norwich. LaMia’s third RJ85, EI-RJV (msn E2370), on the other hand, was until recently active with CityJet. She was ferried to Norwich on August 22, and is currently being painted.

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