An Air Moldova Airbus A319 has been impounded in Dublin following an order from the high court. The aircraft cannot depart Dublin Airport following a ruling in favor of Just Us Air SRL, represented by the law firm Crowley Millar.
From time to time, aircraft are seized around the world. Typically such action may be taken if an airline ceases operations to protect creditors. However, we have also seen such action taken against active airlines. A month ago, a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777 was impounded in Malaysia over a British court case.
Air Moldova Airbus A319 impounded
An Air Moldova Airbus A319 registered as ER-AXL has been impounded in Dublin. The aircraft flew from Chisinau (KIV) to Dublin (DUB) on Tuesday, February 9th, as 9U831. Following a turn around in the Irish Capital, it was due to return to Chisinau at 00:05 yesterday. Crew and passengers found themselves stranded in Dublin when the aircraft was unable to leave Dublin.
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According to Flying In Ireland, the aircraft was ordered to be seized by the high court last week. It seems that only the plaintiffs were represented in the court. However, media were kept from reporting the matter until the aircraft had been secured. It appears that the court was worried Air Moldova would cancel their flight to Dublin had they known their aircraft would be seized.
Publicly available court records show that the law firm Crowley Millar represented Just Us Air against Air Moldova. According to breakingnews.ie, the aircraft was seized over €4.2 million awarded to the plaintiff by a Romanian Arbitrator. The publication reports that the case will return to court before the end of the month.
According to the IPN Press Agency, an airline spokesperson said,
“Given the restrictive measures in relation to flights introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of financial resources led to the suspension of payments for the accumulated debt. As a result, on February 9, after the 9U 831 Chisinau-Dublin flight, the Airbus 319 ER-AXL aircraft, after landing in Dublin, wasn’t authorized to fly back to Chisinau.”
Simple Flying has contacted Air Moldova and Crowley Millar for comment. This story will be updated as appropriate.
About the plane
According to data from RadarBox.com, the aircraft seized is an Airbus A319 registered as ER-AXL. While the aircraft itself is 14.6 years old, it has only been with Air Moldova since June 2015, according to data from PlaneSpotters.net. The aircraft was built in Hamburg before being delivered to Hainan Airlines in August 2006. In June 2007, it was transferred to Deer Air before joining Capital Airlines in May 2010. It was then withdrawn from use in June 2014 before being returned to lessor BBAM in February 2015.
Air Moldova has flown the aircraft since June 5th, 2015, taking delivery of the aircraft from Dublin. Before April 2020, the aircraft was well used. As lockdowns gripped Europe in April, the aircraft only operated two flights. In recent months, the aircraft has been using aircraft once again, with around 50 flights a month. However, RadarBox.com data shows that the aircraft operated just seven flights in January, clocking 15.8 hours of flying.
What do you make of the seizure of Air Moldova’s Airbus A319? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!