July 30, 2018 / 8:36 PM / 22 days ago

Aerolineas Argentinas names new president before subsidy cut

BUENOS AIRES, July 30 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-owned airline Aerolineas Argentinas SA will replace its current president with a former telecommunications executive in August, the company announced on Monday.

Luis Malvido, the former chief executive officer for South American operations at Spanish-owned telecom company Telefonica SA, will replace Mario Dell'Aqua as the airline's president.

Dell'Aqua will continue to serve on the board of directors, the company said in a statement.

"We are grateful for Mario Dell'Acqua's dedication and commitment," the company said. Dell'Aqua "worked to reduce the deficit, optimized operations and routes, and focused on quality of service, punctuality and attracting new passengers."

The change in leadership comes as market-friendly President Mauricio Macri continues to cut subsidies to industries across the board in an effort to reduce the country's fiscal deficit.

Aerolineas Argentinas collected $170 million in subisidies in 2017, but the government expects the company to improve its balance sheet and operate without any subsidies by next year. (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski Writing by Scott Squires; Editing by Tom Brown)

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