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Privatization of Air Moldova was ineffective, nontransparent and illegal.

Privatization of Air Moldova was ineffective, nontransparent and illegal.

This was the conclusion of the parliamentary commission of inquiry on the analysis of the organization and conduct of privatization and concession of state property in 2013-2019, which presented the main conclusions after the hearings on the privatization of the former state company Air Moldova. During a press conference on Tuesday, commission chairman Igor Munteanu said that 14 people provided information during the hearing, another 4, including ex-prime minister Pavel Filip, ex-minister of economy and infrastructure Chiril Gaburici and a representative of Civil Aviation Group and Blue Air, did not appear at the hearing. Munteanu said that on the basis of information and documents, the commission concluded that the authorities responsible for the privatization of Air Moldova did not make efforts to monitor compliance with post-privatization obligations. The new owner of state property also did not advance in fulfilling its obligations under privatization. According to Munteanu, a year after privatization, Air Moldova is in the same state of economic uncertainty as before. All “monitoring” of fulfillment of obligations was reduced to checking the repayment of the current debts of the enterprise, and the previously formed debts of the company were not repaid. Also, the state aid provided to the company in 2017 was not returned. Munteanu noted that the Public Property Agency was obliged to coordinate the hiring of an audit company to monitor the situation in 2018, but this was not done. Also, not a single meeting of the privatization monitoring commission was held, the commission in the field of civil aviation did not meet, and other measures were not taken. There are no documents or information confirmed by the audit, which would confirm that the buyer has fulfilled his investment obligations. Munteanu noted that it is necessary to conduct an audit of the implementation of the post-privatization obligations of Air Moldova. “According to the privatization contract, a company that has acquired state ownership must be in the monitoring mode for 3 years, and also cannot sell the property without the consent of the government. The Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure will conduct a comprehensive audit of the state of invested funds and fulfill the obligations of the company with which the purchase and sale contract was concluded, ”he said. The final privatization report of Air Moldova will be presented in 15 days. After that, the document will be submitted to Parliament, which should take a further decision. Munteanu noted that the privatization contract could be revoked or its terms revised. Recall that the state-owned airline Air Moldova was sold to the Civil Aviation Group company, established by a group of investors led by the Romanian low-cost airline Blue Air Aviation. The transaction value amounted to over 1.2 billion lei ($ 71.1 million), of which 50 million lei were transferred to the state budget, and the remaining amount was Air Moldova debts. Civil AviationGroup has committed to develop the Air Moldova infrastructure, expand the airline's network of flights, increase the flow of passengers on the main existing routes operated by Air Moldova, modernize and increase its fleet, aviation personnel, number of pilots, etc. According to the development strategy of AirMoldova, Civil Aviation Group planned to launch 7 new routes by the end of 2019 and 4 new routes in 2020. In 2021, it was planned to open long-distance flights to the USA, Canada, and China. In addition, the investor intended to increase the frequency of a number of existing flights. The share of Blue Air in the Civil Aviation Group is 49% of the shares, and the remaining 51% is held in equal shares by two Moldovans - Andrei Ianovici and Serghei Melnic. According to media reports, one of them is a co-owner of the Georgian airline AMS Airlines Air Charter, and the second runs a financial company in the United States.// 03.09.2019 — InfoMarket.

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