LONDON – Romanian carrier Blue Air remains stuck in trouble. The airline still owes a great amount of money in refunds and fines after cancelling over 11,000 flights in the period of April 30, 2021 to April 30, 2022.
Blue Air saw a major downsize in their fleet after getting their bank accounts closed and operations suspended in September, leaving the it with just two Boeing 737-500s. However the Romanian tax agency (ANAF) has now seized one of the Boeing 737-500 aircraft, leading Blue Air one step closer to insolvency in the case.
Continuing crisis – One aircraft remains
As the payment crisis continues for Romanian carrier Blue Air, the Romanian tax agency (ANAF) has now seen the need to seize one of the two remaining aircraft in Blue Air’s fleet, currently consisting of Boeing 737-500 aircraft.
The aircraft being seized, is currently situated at Bacau Airport (BCM), which after data from Planespotters.net indicates that registration YR-AME (MSN 24941) is the aircraft in question.
YR-AME is just one of the two Boeing 737-500’s in Blue Air’s fleet, with YR-AMA (MSN 24942), being the second airframe in the fleet. However, YR-AMA is parked at Forli Airport (FRL) in Italy with its fate unknown at this time.
Since Blue Air got fined 2 million EUR for the over 11,000 flights cancelled, they were also forced to pay out the refunds within a 10-day limit, as enforced by the Romanian authorities. However, as they failed to pay within the set date, their bank accounts were seized by the Romanian Ministry of Environment, leaving the airline unable to pay suppliers.
In reports from Romania-Insider.com, the debt of the airline is published, with Blue Air owing RON 14.4M to the Central Government Budget, further RON 36.6M to the Social Security Budget, as well as RON 12.2M to the public health system’s budget. The total in Romanian currency leaves Blue Air owing RON 63.2M, which converts to roughly 13 million Euro (EUR).
Aircraft returned and routes replaced
As the carrier was forced to suspend operations in September of this year, Blue Air was eventually forced to return planes, leaving their fleet at a minimum. This also includes Blue Air’s pretty new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, as well as their Boeing 737 NG-fleet, which were returned to lessors as a result.
With Blue Air suspending operations, their route network also collapsed, leaving carriers Wizzair and Moldovan airline HiSky to commence operations on some of the routes that it left behind.
Blue Air’s fate remains to be decided as the carrier now turns even closer to insolvency in their issues and 13 million Euro’s in fines plus compensations is no small amount of money.
Although the carrier is getting paid in rescue loans to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic and the problems that brought with it, it is in theory not much to recover with the fleet now at one aircraft and fines remaining unpaid. On top of this, the last aircraft standing could also be seized in the near future unless the company finds some solution.