Avies recovers certificate, prepares to resume operations (1)
Bankrupt Estonian carrier Avies AS has recovered its air operator's certificate (AOC) after a four-month suspension and intends to gradually restart operations by providing business and charter flights and selling aviation-related know-how abroad.
"We're taking is slow now and gearing up for operation," Allan Soll, an Avies board member, told BNS on Friday. "The losses and things that have had to be changed as a result of losing the AOC are much more extensive than we ever thought."
He said that during the four months [in which Avies was suspended from operations], the company has laid off 30 people.
"Our team consists of fewer than 10 people now," he explained. "Embarking on the new path, we will try not to take old mistakes with us."
Asked about the company's plans, Soll said that while he wouldn't like to go into too much detail, focusing on business and charter flights and the sale of expert know-how were some of the things they have been considering.
Soll also expressed hope that Avies can escape bankruptcy.
Avies' troubling past
Harju County Court declared Estonian carrier Avies bankrupt and appointed Veli Kraavi the trustee in bankruptcy on June 2016, 2015.
The bankruptcy petition against the airline was filed by Swedish companies Swedewings and Bromma Air Maintenance. Creditors, however, decided at their first meeting not to liquidate the company, which had debts totaling 8.3 million euros as of mid-July 2015, and let it remain in business.
On April 1, 2016, the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration (ECAA) suspended the airline Avies’ air operator’s certificate (AOC) for six months, forcing the latter to cease all flight operations effective immediately.
The ECAA stated that Avies had partially failed to meet requirements guaranteeing compliance with aviation safety standards and suspended its AOC for six months or until they were able to rectify all cited violations. While its AOC is suspended, Avies is prohibited from operating any flights whatsoever.
ECAA Director General Kristjan Telve explained that Avies had been sent a warning in late February citing a number of violations and was asked to resolve them by March 24. According to Telve, a number of documents from the airline arrived by March 24, however, it turned out that a number of violations remained either unaddressed or undocumented.
The ECAA had cited Avies for a total of 90 violations, of which 47 remained unresolved by the March 24 deadline.
Avies had served routes to Kuressaare, Kärdla, as well as the Swedish capital of Stockholm, serving a total of 12,000 on its Tallinn-Kuressaare route alone in summer 2015.