Blue Air Won’t Resume Flights As Planned On October 10th

Blue Air Won’t Resume Flights As Planned On October 10th

Romanian private airline Blue Air has announced it will not be in a position to resume flying on 10th October as it originally planned. This does not come as a surprise. The airline is facing an existential crisis, and it is unclear if it will ever return to the skies.

Blue Air prolongs its return indefinitely

Blue Air announced yesterday it would not meet its target of resuming flights in two weeks’ time, saying:

“Blue Air is currently still not in a position to start flying again on 10th October 2022. Blue Air will make an announcement promptly upon the finalization of the ongoing discussions as to when it expects to have its fleet flying again.”

The explanation behind this latest prolonging was given as follows:

“The many severe hardships, financial and operational, created by the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt by all airlines, but even more keenly by private regional airlines struggling for survival. Notwithstanding these and other adverse elements, Blue Air, a proud Romanian private company, is doing its best to resume flight operations. To that end, Blue Air is currently in discussions with potential investors, lenders and the Romanian Government to restructure its capital profile so as to be able to resume air operations.”

As this is not the first time that Blue Air has made such an announcement, the company also apologized once again, saying:

“Blue Air sincerely regrets the inconvenience caused to the flying public, its employees, vendors and suppliers, and continues to work diligently to be able to resume air operations with as little further delay as possible.”

Blue Air is in a debt crisis that it cannot recover from without an investor. Photo: Blue Air

The last suspension was three weeks ago

Blue Air stopped flying at the start of September this year after a dispute with the Romanian government. Initially, this was only supposed to last until 11th September. Then, it was extended until 10th October. The latest suspension is now the third one.

Blue Air’s cancelation of over 11,000 flights between April 2021 and April 2022 led Romania’s National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) to issue the airline with a €2 million ($1.9 million) fine.

As well as issuing the fine, the Authority ordered Blue Air to repay its customers around €13 million ($12.9 million) spanning 178,405 reservations that were affected.

All airlines are struggling in the current environment of the pandemic and lockdowns that have hit the travel industry hard. Blue Air recorded losses of €130 million ($128 million) during COVID-19. The airline owes $5.7 million in unpaid CO2 credits to Romania’s Environmental Fund Agency.

Wizz Air has already announced it is adding 2.6 million seats in Romania. Photo: Getty Images

It’s now difficult to return to the skies

Unpaid EU261 compensation claims, fares that have not been refunded when flights were canceled, and multiple rounds of flight suspensions are all making it very unlikely that Blue Air will manage to return to the skies, even if it finds an investor to cover its debts.

Furthermore, airlines have already responded by adding additional capacity in Romania. Wiz Air announced it was stationing a staggering five additional aircraft in the country, boosting its seat capacity by as much as 2.6 million seats for a total of 13.8 million.

What do you think of Blue Air suspending flights indefinitely over its outstanding debts? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.

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