Romanian State Nationalises Blue Air

An ex-Blue Air 737 MAX arrives in Warsaw for LOT Polish Airlines.
Sister aircraft OE-IGQ after arrival in Warsaw. Photo Credit: Piotr Bozyk

LONDON – It is reported that the Romanian government has taken over Romania’s second-largest airline Blue Air. A couple of months ago, the now-dormant Romanian carrier remained in huge trouble when its aircraft were grounded – now more clarity has been added.

The ‘take-over’ comes in the form of the state taking 75% of the stake in the inactive airline. Speculations made headlines all over the media, but it is now becoming somewhat true. 

Daniel Geantă, head of the Authority for the Administration of State Assets (Autoritatea pentru Administrarea Activelor Statului – AAAS) confirmed in an interview with Andrada Ghira, 

“We have taken over the shares, the takeover has been completed, and now we are trying to form a new board of directors. The people who are now on the board have not resigned yet, but they will.”

Geantă furthered that:  “It’s that delivery-reception period and we have had problems accessing the documents, and there are small delays due to the fact that the documents we requested are not being made available to us.”

The Romanian state is now asking for Blue Air’s financial statements and relevant documents such as employment contracts, along with statements of debts and creditors.

The institution, or the AAAS namely, will go ahead with the audit after receiving the relevant documents. 

Highly in Debt

The Romanian airline collated over EUR230 million euros or USD$244 million, along with a 300.8 million lei (USD$65 million) from state-owned export-import bank Eximbank for a period of a six-year loan given at the height of the pandemic to aid the airline’s operations.

In terms of the  financial aid from the Romanian state, shareholders respectively pledged 75% of the shares. 

 A Possible American Buy Out 

The top man of AAAS, Geanta reiterated that: “We cannot be responsible, as a public institution, for what happened until we can say we have taken over the company.”

It is reported that there is a potential investor in the United States who has their eyes set on taking over Blue Air. 

About Blue Air

Blue Air was Romania’s domestic backbone and low-cost carrier. Blue Air, founded in 2004, served many point to point routes to and from Bucharest and other secondary cities in Romania, to major cities in Europe.

The airline alongside with Tarom played a major role in the development and the growth of commercial transport in the country. Blue Air, right before its bankruptcy owned three Boeing 737-500 before they preliminary cease operations in September 2022 .

At the peak of its operations, it owned modern fleets, such as the Boeing 737-800 and the MAX aircraft. Unfortunately, these aircraft were returned to its lessor due to the pandemic. 

About Blue Air

Prior to the grounding of the aircraft in September 2022, the Romanian low cost carrier flew 75 scheduled in 21 countries, mainly in Europe, and the Middle East. the airline, also accepts ad hoc charters from Romanian tour charter companies. 

The possibilities of the airline being sold to a U.S investor as of this moment is still yet to be determined.

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