A Boeing 737 operated by Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air has been seized by the country tax authority, the National Fiscal Administration Agency (ANAF).
The plane is a 31.6-year-old Boeing 737-500, registered YR-AME, according to a statement made by the ANAF and seen by Profit.ro on November 11, 2022.
The aircraft is currently stored at Baucau Airport (BCH) and is considered “the subject of a seizure instituted by ANAF” in relation to the airline’s unpaid debt.
As of September 2022, Blue Air owed a total of $13.26 million (around RON62.9 million) in unpaid liabilities to Romania’s government.
According to the ANAF, the Bucharest-based carrier owes at least $3 million (RON14.4 million) of unpaid taxes to the country’s central government budget as well as a $7.65 million (RON36.3 million) debt due to the state social insurance budget. The airline is also overdue to make a payment of $2.57 million (RON12.2 million) in taxes to the health insurance budget.
Blue Air has been under scrutiny since September 6, 2022, when the airline officially announced the suspension of its operations out of all four of its hubs at Bucharest Otopeni (OTP), Bacau (BCM), Cluj Napoca (CLJ), and Iasi (IAS) airports. The suspension followed the seizure of the company’s accounts by the country’s Ministry of the Environment for not complying with its financial obligations to suppliers and failing to pay an almost $2 million fine for canceled flights.
The airline has been expected to resume flights in October 2022, once it has identified a new strategic investor.