Air Moldova, allegedly controlled by Ilan Shor, is mired in debt. Which companies help transport her clients

Viorica Mija
17/03/2023
Sursa: CIJM

Air Moldova, the company behind fugitive politician Ilan Șor, will partner with three companies to address its operational difficulties. This solution was identified after several flights were canceled, and passengers had to look for alternative options. Air Moldova claims that it "has become the target of a premeditated smear campaign with the aim of bankrupting the company." Anticoruptie.md revealed that the privatization of Air Moldova was carried out through a scheme based on artificial debts, flawed competition procedures, and several dubious financial transactions.

Air Moldova announced that the three partner companies are already prepared to receive Air Moldova passengers. One is a Moldovan-Romanian company, another is a Bulgarian company, and the third is an operator from Croatia. The company also published photos of the three companies' planes, captured at Chisinau International Airport.

"Our partners and friends on duty at Chisinau International Airport are ready to operate Air Moldova flights - SkyUp Airlines, ETF Airways, ALK Airlines," the company noted.

On Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Authority (AAC) imposed restrictions on the sale of tickets for Air Moldova. The company is prohibited from selling tickets in advance if the period until the actual flight exceeds three months. The Minister of Infrastructure, Lilia Dabija, mentioned that Air Moldova is facing significant financial problems, including debts for payment of services and airport taxes. Air Moldova representatives denied this information.

Prime Minister Dorin Recean stated that Air Moldova is experiencing financial difficulties due to a previously committed fraud. "It is also a company linked to the Șor group, which has led the company to the precarious financial situation it is in and the inability to honor its obligations to citizens," said Recean.

The airline released a statement on Friday, March 17, stating that it is subject to a smear campaign.

"The Civil Aviation Authority (AAC) imposes limits on ticket sales, which interfere with the company's commercial activity, and abusive stoppage of the commercial activity in the middle of the operating season. We are intentionally deprived of the ability to overcome existing operational and financial difficulties to destroy ourselves. AAC's abuse of Air Moldova's activity increased in 2022. AAC intentionally delayed the flight approval process. From November 28, 2022, Air Moldova submitted the request for the approval of five new flights. Although the regulation provides for a term of no less than 45 days before the flight operation, Air Moldova requested the authorizations more than 118 days before the flight. Until now, the AAC has not issued flight authorizations for the requested destinations," the press release states.

In October 2018, the state-owned company "Air Moldova" was privatized and purchased for 1.2 billion lei by the company "Civil Aviation Group SRL," registered only a month before by a group of investors. The parliamentary commission of inquiry that investigated the privatization process found several irregularities in the preparation and conduct of the sale process and declared that there were grounds for terminating the contract signed with "Civil Aviation Group."

Viorica Mija
17/03/2023



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