The Argentinean government has hired a British plane for President Kirchner’s upcoming four nation tour to avoid the risk of creditors seizing her official airplane to pay for the country’s bad debts.
They have hired from British company Chapman Freeborn despite the recent war of words between the two countries. They rented from the company in 2010 and 2011 for Kirchner’s trips in South America and to Europe.
A statement from the Presidential spokesperson, Oscar Parrilli, explains that “they were presented with six offers, all of them of very similar value, and decided to hire Chapman Freeborn, a British company operating from the Gatwick Airport in England, because it was the most convenient from an operational, economic and financial point of view.”
President Kirchner will visit United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Vietnam from Jan 13 to 21 to promote trade links, in addition to visiting Cuba to see Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who is struggling to recover after having cancer surgery there.
Argentina’s fears are certainly valid. The country’s naval training ship was seized in Ghana last year for 78 days following a request from NML Capital, a Cayman Islands-based investment firm. The firm claimed Buenos Aires owed them US$370 million. A similar situation occurred in 2002 when German creditors tried to seize a 130-meter navy cadet training ship, ARA Libertad, in Bremerhaven.