Confusion in the air

PANORAMApoint:
There is much confusion about the future of the Andalus airline, with reports about its problems also appearing in Spanish newspaper.

Last Friday newspapers in Gibraltar, including PANORAMA, were informed that Andalus owed over $611,000 to GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) who describe themselves as a leading global player in commercial aircraft leasing financing, with over 1,800 owned and managed aircraft.

Andalus have two Brazilian-built Embrear 145 aircraft leased from that company. But it is alleged that they have not paid the fees due since last November.

On 11th and 20th February grounding licences were issued. On 3rd March notice of termination of the lease was issued. Notices of cancellation of insurance were also issued. Andalus refused to ground or return the aircraft. On 10th March writs for repossession of the leased aircraft were issued in Gibraltar and in Spain.

A few days earlier, Andalus had said in a statement to the Gibraltar press that it guaranteed that it would continue to fly regularly and without interruption to Madrid, and to Barcelona from 26 March. That day the airline did not start its Barcelona flights and halted its Madrid flights.

The airline also said that its relations with the Gibraltar Government were cordial.

It has emerged that they owe over 100,000 to the Government in landing charges and passenger taxes. The Government made 50,000 available to the airline recently for marketing purposes.

The airline has said to Spanish papers that it has ceased flying temporarily, until 19 April, due to technical reasons.

Gibraltar travel agents have stopped selling tickets.

The whole issue is truly confusing. There is a case for the matter to be cleared up urgently, by the airline or by those who are involved with Andalus in one way or another.

30-03-10



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