DALLAS — The Romanian government is set to take a 75% stake in the grounded low-cost carrier (LCC) Blue Air (0B). The carrier has unpaid state aid that was granted during the pandemic.
Blue Air suspended flights on September 6 after the government blocked its bank accounts in relation to the recovery of millions of dollars’ worth of debt. The carrier hoped to resume flights in October but later said it could not. Flights currently remain suspended.
Romania’s finance ministry has now begun proceedings through the country’s Authority for Administration of State Assets (AAAS) to recover the funds owed to the state. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, 0B took a state loan worth lei300.78m (US$63.1m) and put up 75% of its stock as a guarantee.
State, Airline Comments
“We have initiated the procedure by which we will become the majority shareholder of Blue Air,” AAAS president Florian Daniel Geanta told Romania’s daily Curs De Guvernare. ”Our intention is to get this company back on its feet, but we can do that only after we become an official shareholder in Blue Air and follow a detailed analysis.”
”As soon as this legal process is completed, the company will publicly communicate the new shareholding structure,” the airline says. ”Obviously, later the majority shareholder of the company will decide the way of public communication of the Blue Air situation.”
Featured image: Blue Air 737 MAX. Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways