Fernandez taps U.K. firm for plane

AFP-JIJI

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez will go on a four-nation trip in a rented British airplane for fear that her official aircraft would be impounded in a debt dispute, the government said Monday.

Despite a bitter war of words with London over the Falkland Islands, Fernandez’s government is paying British air charter firm Chapman Freeborn $880,000 for the trip to Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The government’s concern is very real: Last year, a court in Ghana impounded the Argentine Navy ship Libertad for two months following a request from NML Capital, a Cayman Islands-based investment firm.

The company, denounced by Argentina’s government as a “vulture fund,” says Buenos Aires owes it $370 million stemming from the nation’s debt default a decade ago.