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MRO MidAir seeks liquidation amid Transaero troubles

MRO provider MidAir USA filed court documents in early September seeking to liquidate its business, a development that came as one of the company's largest airline customers faced mounting financial challenges.

The filing for protection under US Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief also came months after the company stopped making lease payments on its MRO hangar in Melbourne, Florida, according to court documents.

A phone call placed to the company's Rome, New York, headquarters went unanswered.

The bankruptcy filing on 9 September says MidAir was, at the time, in possession of eight aircraft owned by its customers, including one Boeing 767-300ER and one 777-200 operated by Russian carrier Transaero.

The General Electric CF6-powered 767, registration EL-RUU, was manufactured in 1999 and had accumulated 72,600h and 9,030 cycles as of June 2015, according to Flightglobal's Fleets Analyzer database.

The 777, registration EL-UNT, is powered by Trent 884s, was manufactured in 1998 and accumulated about 61,000h and 15,100 cycles as of January, Fleets Analyzer shows.

Those aircraft were parked in Rome and needed maintenance before returning to service, documents say.

Court papers do not identify the registration numbers of the six aircraft in Florida, but say those aircraft need weekly attention to maintain upkeep.

MidAir's property at the time of the bankruptcy filing included some 10,800 aircraft seats, plus interior panels, inflight entertainment (IFE) systems and a range of other equipment valued at $3.4 million, court papers show.

The filing came days after news broke on 3 September that Aeroflot's board of directors approved a takeover of financially-struggling Transaero.

On 1 October, news broke that the Aeroflot-Transaero deal had fallen through, and on 2 October Transaero confirmed it stopped selling tickets.Meanwhile MidAir likewise struggled financially.

Court documents filed by the Melbourne Airport authority say the company stopped making rent payments in July.

MidAir had been making payments on about 1.3 hectares (3.2 acres) of land at the airport and a 75,525ft2 (7,017m2) hangar.

The company signed leases with Melbourne beginning in 2010, documents show.

As of 9 September, MidAir owed the airport authority about $251,000, court papers show.

Melbourne's executive director Greg Donovan declines to discuss the MidAir situation with Flightglobal.

"Our attorneys are talking to the bankruptcy court," he says. "It's a pending legal matter and we don't discuss it."

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