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Brazil's Varig to Lay Off 5,500 Workers


Brazil's financially-strapped airline, Varig, says it is laying off 5,500 workers as it emerges from bankruptcy under new owners.

The company said Friday that only about four thousand of its more than 9,000 employees will keep their jobs. But Varig said it hopes to re-hire laid-off workers once it resumes growth.

The investment group, Volo do Brasil, together with a U.S. fund, bought the company during an auction last week for $24 million. In addition the group pledged to invest another $485 million to revive the airline. The group was the only bidder.

Varig was once the largest airline in Latin America, as well as Brazil's national carrier, but it has struggled in recent years and accrued $3 billion in debt.

Varig has canceled flights and been unable to pay for fuel and airport fees in recent months. The airline's fleet has also dwindled.

Some information for this report provided by AP.