An Argentine judge on Wednesday granted an injunction blocking the eviction of LAN Argentina, a unit of Chile-based LATAM Airlines Group, from its hangar at this capital's Jorge Newbery Airport, which handles domestic and South American regional flights.

The ruling instructs the Argentine government not to remove LAN Argentina, the main competitor of state-owned Aerolineas Argentinas, "until a determination is made of the legality of the order issued by the Orsna national airports system regulator."

Judge Claudia Rodriguez Vidal handed down her ruling hours before the deadline for LAN Argentina to vacate the hangar at Newbery was to due to expire.

Chile-based LATAM Airlines, which was formed as a result of last year's merger of Chile's LAN Airlines and Brazil's TAM Airlines, went to court on Monday to seek the injunction.

Amid the dispute, LAN Airlines' president and chief operating officer, Ignacio Cueto, traveled Wednesday to Buenos Aires to meet with Orsna officials and try to reach an agreement, Chilean media reported.

LAN Argentina employees have demonstrated against the eviction order since it was announced last week.

The APTA and ATCPEA airline unions, meanwhile, said they would go on strike as of Thursday if the eviction is carried out.

LATAM Airlines Group, 9.2 percent of whose revenue comes from its Argentine unit, is the largest airline in South America. EFE