Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air has suspended operations after its accounts were seized by the country’s Ministry of the Environment for not complying with its financial obligations to suppliers and failing to pay an almost $2 million fine for canceled flights.
The carrier said all returning flights would continue to operate as scheduled on September 6. Once all the aircraft are back in Romania, the airline will then temporarily stop operations.
According to a statement given by Blue Air statement, seen by Romanian media, the low-cost carrier is suspending all operations out of its four hubs – Bucharest Otopeni (OTP), Bacau (BCM), Cluj Napoca (CLJ), and Iasi (IAS), until at least September 12, 2022.
However, the airline argues that it was unable to make payments to its partners, including suppliers, because the government had seized its accounts.
“Due to an unforeseen situation consisting in the seizure of all the accounts of the BlueAir company by the Ministry of the Environment for non-payment of a fine, the airline company BlueAir Aviation is forced, being unable to pay any supplier, to suspend all flights scheduled to depart from Romania,” Blue Air said in its statement.
In mid-July 2022, the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) issued Blue Air with a $1.97 million (€2 million) fine for canceling more than 11,000 passenger flights between April 30, 2021, and April 30, 2022.
The low-cost carrier was then obliged to return money to customers within a maximum of 10 days. However, Blue Air disagreed with the fine and accused the ANPC of incompetence, arguing that it would take the dispute to the local court.