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Avianca Brasil flights operating normally after court order -spokeswoman


By Marcelo Rochabrun

SAO PAULO, March 19 () - All Avianca Brasil flights were operating normally, a spokeswoman for the carrier said on Tuesday, a day after a Brazilian appeals judge lifted an order that allowed the carrier to operate 10 of its planes despite missed leasing payments.

She added that the decision, which could disrupt the airline's ability to complete scheduled flights, would be appealed. The ruling, a copy of which was reviewed by , is the latest development in a bitter legal fight between lessors and the carrier, which is going through bankruptcy protection.

The appellate judge said the carrier had failed to meet one of the conditions to keep the planes: That it resume and keep up with its regular monthly payments.

Rival airline Azul struck a tentative deal earlier this month to take over most of Avianca Brasil's jet leases and landing slots. That transaction could be formalized in a March 29 bankruptcy court auction. No other potential bidders have yet publicly come forward.

Lessor Aircastle Ltd filed the appeal. Avianca Brasil is its single biggest customer and operates 10 Airbus planes owned by Aircastle.

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