The Moldovan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) striped the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) of Air Moldova, citing the airline’s lack of airworthy aircraft.
“The Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) of Air Moldova, due to the lack of at least one aircraft that would hold a valid airworthiness certificate,” the CAA said in its statement. It further added that the scheduled maintenance Air Moldova’s lone Airbus A320 aircraft in April 2023 was not completed on time.
Consequently, the aircraft’s airworthiness certificate expired on August 21, 2023, prompting the CAA to revoke the airline’s AOC. The authority has suspended Air Moldova’s certificate until October 31, 2023, and has urged passengers to reclaim their rights, requesting the air operator to reimburse the cost of tickets”.
A few days earlier, Air Moldova issued a statement, warning that all of its flights were canceled until September 14, 2023. The airline has been processing refund requests from passengers who purchased tickets on its website. Travelers who bought tickets through accredited agencies are told they would “receive refunds as soon as the commercial and operational activities of the air company are resumed”.
According to ch-aviation.com data, the airline’s Airbus A320, registered as ER-AXA, was delivered to Air Moldova in August 2021. Its first operator was Jetstar Asia Airways, which received the aircraft in March 2005and operated it until June 2013.
Air Moldova withdrew the aircraft from use and stored it at Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport (MPL), France, in February 2023.
Its other two Airbus A320s, registered as ER-AXL and ER-AXM, left its fleet in March and April 2023. Both have been re-registered since as LY-BMG and LY-BMF, respectively, with the LY- prefix possibly indicating that a Lithuanian operator could take control of the aircraft next.
Ch-aviation.com data showed that both currently belong to Carlyle Aviation Partners, a United States (US)-based aircraft leasing firm.
According to a statement to AeroTime by a representative from the Lithuanian Transport Competence Agency (Transporto kompetencijų agentūra, TKA), the two aircraft are registered on a temporary basis. However, the representative was unable to detail to whom the aircraft belong to due to laws concerning aircraft registrations in Lithuania.
UPDATE August 28, 2023, 5:30 PM (UTC +3): The article was updated with a statement from TKA.