Macau government stands firm on Viva Macau grounding

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The Macau government reiterates that its cancellation of Viva Macau's sub-concession agreement and air operator's certificate (AOC) complies with the island's laws.

The Macau Civil Aviation Authority (AACM) revoked Viva Macau's AOC after the low-cost carrier started cancelling its flights from 26 March due to problems paying for its fuel.

The AACM subsequently obtained Air Macau's permission to cancel the sub-concession contract. Aircraft lessor AWAS, which supplies the airline's three Boeing 767s, has also terminated their contract and applied to the AACM to de-register the aircraft.

Viva Macau has still not resumed services despite hoping to do so over the weekend. The airline, however, says that it is "shocked and surprised" at the revocation of the AOC and the termination of the sub-concession contract.

It adds that it may take legal action to resume flights, pointing out that the sub-concession contract was terminated only on 31 March and therefore the AACM had "no grounds to revoke" the AOC on 28 March.

"We have responsible shareholders, superb management, and a team that operates at the highest international standards," adds the carrier.

The Macau government, however, says that the airline has no case. It says that Viva Macau told it earlier this year that it was looking for potential investors and asked the government to give it financial aid until an agreement was reached. It says that the airline did not provide any information on the investment plan subsequently.

The decisions, it adds, "comply with laws", reiterating that a company that wishes to provide public services has to show that "it is suitable, having appropriate technical quantification and financial capability".

"At this present moment, VIVA Macau is no longer compliant with the requirements of the regulations and does not have any condition to provide public air transport services," adds the Macau government.