The airline had initially planned to resume services on September 12th.
Romanian budget carrier Blue Air has extended its suspension of operations for another month following its decision to stop all flights earlier this week. The airline’s finances were frozen after it failed to pay fines imposed by Romanian authorities. We take a closer look at this story below.
Blue Air flight suspension
Blue Air will cease all operations until at least October 10th after revealing it cannot pay its operational prices. The airline had initially stopped flights until September 12th but will now extend this by another month.
“In the last 48 hours, the executive management, the Board of Directors, and the shareholders of Blue Air found that the level of ticket sales was significantly affected, and the pieces that were collected by payment processors were blocked by them, so that the Company does not have at this time of the funds required to pay for the fuel and other operational expenses, required for the flights planned from September 12.”
The carrier informed that, despite its ongoing dispute with Romanian authorities, “representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure requested the resumption of flights as soon as possible.”
As per a media report explored earlier this week, Wizz Air stepped into the gap left by Blue Air’s suspension of services, even going so far as to offer recovery fares for Blue Air passengers amid a broader Romanian expansion.
The airline claims it will not be able to operate with providers of essential flight services, including “airports, handling companies, fuel suppliers, traffic control authorities and owners of Blue Airplanes,” until it resolves its outstanding debt.
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Additionally, it will require to reimburse passengers who had bought fares on affected services before it can restart operations on October 10th.
Should this fail to happen, expect the airline to extend its suspension again?
Blue Air added,
“The decision to resume flights decisively takes into account the possibility of the company to reimburse all affected travelers the payments owed and to pay all commercial partners the prices of the services provided in favor of the company.”
The origin of this dispute lies in Blue Air’s cancelation of over 11,000 flights between April 2021 and April 2022, leading Romania’s National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) to dish out a €2 million ($2 million) fine.
Blue Air was already in dire financial straits before this fine and owes a lot more than just the €2 million. Along with the fine, the ANPC ordered Blue Air to repay its customers around €13 million ($13.05 million), with a total of 178,405 reservations affected.
According to the airline, it incurred upwards of €130 million ($130.50 million) losses during the pandemic and is in active discussions with potential investors.
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