Air Moldova is trying to rebuild a schedule over the next few days, having initially suspended all services for the period, citing an inability to relieve financial pressure on the carrier.
The airline originally said it had been “forced” to stop operating flights over the course of 21-25 April, the result of a “lack of financial resources necessary for the company’s activity” and an inability to remedy the situation.
But the carrier has managed to restore a partial schedule for 23-25 April, with services from Chisinau to Bologna, Tbilisi and Verona.
Air Moldova has a small fleet of around five aircraft, including Airbus A320-family, Boeing 737 and Embraer regional jets.
It has been struggling to deal with the impact of the pandemic as well as the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine which has affected Moldovan airspace. The carrier says it has lost important commercial destinations, while the Moldovan civil aviation authority recently warned the airline could be grounded.
The airline says its plans for this year included fleet renewal and additional routes.
But it stated in March that it had to return two aircraft to lessors, resulting in flight cancellations as a consequence of the reduced capacity.
Air Moldova says it quickly took steps to minimise the disruption, with leases of three other aircraft. But it claims it has been drawn into a political “smear campaign” intended to “bankrupt the company”, and adds that the civil aviation authority has been imposing limits on ticket sales.
According to the authority, Air Moldova was asked to present a corrective action plan last November to address its “serious financial deficiencies”, but claims the airline chose to challenge the regulator’s actions in court.
It has “repeatedly complained” about Air Moldova’s “precarious” position and is warning that – if the situation is not rectified, with a fleet sufficient for services – the carrier “risks having its air operator’s certificate suspended”.