Moldovan authorities will take measures to return Air Moldova to state ownership; they will initiate the cancellation of the privatization contract
This was stated by President of Moldova Igor Dodon after an urgent meeting of the Supreme Security Council. He noted that the recently appointed new leadership of Air Moldova was invited to the meeting, as well as representatives of the state, the Public Property Agency, which was responsible for the process of airline privatization and signed an agreement on privatization. “The state will take all legal measures to return Air Moldova to state ownership. There are all the prerequisites and documented arguments that will allow canceling the contract on the privatization of Air Moldova. In the near future, the state will initiate this process,” said the President of Moldova. He also noted that at the meeting of the Supreme Security Council, detailed information was requested on the activities of Air Moldova, which will be considered at one of the next meetings of the Security Council. Previously, the chairman of the special parliamentary inquiry commission to analyze the organization and conduct of privatization and the transfer of state property to concessions in 2013-2019, Igor Munteanu, stated that the privatization of Air Moldova was inefficient, non-transparent and illegal, and its new owners also failed to fulfill their investment obligations. Air Moldova was sold to the Civil Aviation Group company, established by a group of investors led by the Romanian low-cost airline Blue Air Aviation. The transaction value amounted to over 1.2 billion lei ($71.1 million), of which 50 million lei were transferred to the state budget, and the remaining amount was the debt of Air Moldova. Civil Aviation Group has committed to develop the Air Moldova infrastructure, expand the airline's network of flights, increase the flow of passengers on the main existing routes operated by Air Moldova, modernize and increase the fleet, aviation personnel, number of pilots, etc. According to the development strategy of AirMoldova, Civil Aviation Group planned to launch 7 new routes by the end of 2019 and 4 new routes in 2020. In 2021, it was planned to open long-distance flights to the USA, Canada, and China. In addition, the investor intended to increase the frequency of a number of existing flights. The stake of Blue Air in the Civil Aviation Group is 49%, and the remaining 51% is held in equal shares by two Moldovans - Andrei Ianovici and Serghei Melnic. According to media reports, one of them is a co-owner of the Georgian airline AMS Airlines Air Charter, and the second runs a financial company in the United States. // 12.09.2019 - InfoMarket.