Viva Macau aims to restart flights on 2 April

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Beleaguered low-cost carrier Viva Macau hopes to get back its air operator's certificate (AOC) and restart flights on 2 April, a week after it suddenly cancelled its services.

The low-cost carrier ran into more trouble yesterday after aircraft lessor AWAS, which supplies the three Boeing 767s in the airline's fleet, terminated their contract.

AWAS has applied to de-register the aircraft and the Macau civil aviation authority (AACM), which revoked the carrier's AOC on 28 March, says that it will proceed to do that.

A Viva Macau spokeswoman, however, says that the airline is in talks with authorities to have its AOC reinstated so it can restart flights on 2 April.

"That's the plan for now and we're working at it. However, we cannot confirm that flights will resume on that day," she adds.

The carrier says that it cancelled 33 flights, affecting more than 4,700 passengers, from 26 March after failing to reach an "agreement with the sole fuel supplier in Macau".

"Viva Macau Airlines had taken steps, including prepayment for all weekend flights, last Friday afternoon. Our shareholders had also offered credit guarantees to the supplier. Unfortunately, no agreement could be reached and therefore flights were stopped unexpectedly," it adds.

The AACM had said that Viva Macau was "extremely uncooperative" in helping its passengers whose flights were cancelled. The airline, however, says that its staff were "in action to assist affected passengers", and it is providing refunds on fares.

"Viva Macau was deeply surprised to learn that our AOC was revoked without any prior notice," says the carrier. "We are communicating with all parties to see a solution."