Air Moldova, the struggling national Moldovan carrier, has been bought by a group comprising the Romanian low-fare airline Blue Air and a group of investors.
The Civil Aviation Group, made up of Blue Air and investors from the Republic of Moldova, offered MLD 50 million (approximately €2,560,000) and will also take on the company’s debts of MLD 1.2 billion (around €61,500,000). The privatisation of state-run Air Moldova was determined necessary by the government to avoid it falling into bankruptcy.
According to the government’s Public Property Agency, Civil Aviation Group aims to maintain and develop the airline’s status as a national operator for the Republic of Moldova.
The new shareholder will maintain the airline’s current flight schedule, saying it aims to “regain customers’ confidence while improving the company’s commercial performance.”
“We are very proud to have Air Moldova in our big Blue Air family and we are very happy to be here, in the Centennial Year,” said Marius Puiu, Blue Air’s CEO. “The international success of Blue Air gives us the opportunity to put our experience at work for the future of Air Moldova. Last but not least, this development brings benefits for the local employment market, tourism and the overall community, ”
The Civil Aviation Group plan for Air Moldova – founded in 1993 – is to launch seven new routes by the end of 2019 and four in 2020, with long-haul flights to the USA, Canada and China expected to potentially start in 2021. The plan is also to grow the carrier’s fleet (currently seven aircraft) to 14 by 2021, made up of Airbus A320/A319 and Embraer E-190s. Blue Air operates a Boeing-only fleet of 737s.
The consortium said that with access to the latest technology, infrastructure development and the fleet modernisation processes, “Air Moldova will be able to broaden its horizons and develop in a sustainable manner, providing new opportunities for the young professionals who want to begin a career in this dynamic industry.”