Aerosur, Bolivia's largest airline ceased all international and domestic operations on 31 March 2012 because of unpaid taxes.
Vladimir Sanchez, Bolivia's Minister of Public Works, confirmed that the airline has stopped operating on Bolivian TV. According to Sanchez, Aerosur has a tax debt of US$ 142 million (1.34 billion Bolivianos). However, Aerosur has disputed this debt, and the court case regarding the debt remains open.
Sanchez said, "We will do our best to save the jobs and recover the operations of the airline," and he added, "But we will not use public money to subsidise the airline. We will do what we can to help the airline to be able to help itself, but they [Aerosur] will have to develop their own rescue plan."
In 2007, the Bolivian government formed Boliviana de Aviación (BoA), a state-run national flag carrier airline of Bolivia, in conjunction with private airline AeroSur. BoA is a successor airline of the earlier flag carrier, Lloyd Aero Boliviano (LAB), which went into bankruptcy. Soon after BoA's launch, Aerosur filed a complaint, accusing the government of offering below-cost airfares and driving Aerosur out of the market.
Aerosur began operating in 1992 on domestic routes, and expanded into the international market in early 2000s, replacing LAB as Bolivia's international airline.
In 2010, the Bolivian government introduced new regulations stipulating that aircraft must not be more than 25 years old. As a result, Aerosur replaced its old Boeing 727 and 737-200 aircraft with newer 737-300s and -400s on both regional and domestic routes.
An updated report indicates that the airline resumed some of its flights on 6th April 2012.