Comoros' AB Aviation temporarily suspends operations
AB Aviation chief executive Ayad Bourhane has confirmed the Comorian operator has suspended operations following mounting financial difficulties, reports ch-aviation.
The move comes after the Comorian civil aviation authority grounded EMB-120 D6-ABA on January 15 citing KMF224 million Comorian francs (USD480,000) in unpaid government taxes and dues, an issue Bourhane hopes to have resolved soon.
"We suspended our AOC at the end of last week, by arbitral decision from ANACM," he said. "We are very confident to resume operation this week or the week after because this suspension is based on a tax dispute between ANACM and AB Aviation."
However, late last week, South African ACMI/charter specialist Sahara African Aviation (Nelspruit) appealed to ANACM for assistance concerning D6-ABA. Correspondence seen by the Habari Za Comores news site shows the South African firm's director Murrough Davies-Webb pointing out to the regulator that AB Aviation owes Sahara approximately USD680,000 in unpaid operating debts for the use of D6-ABA.
In the letter dated January 24, 2017, Davies-Webb further notes that Sahara had been amenable to continuing its contract with AB Aviation provided it paid off its dues on an ad-hoc basis. This would enable AB Aviation to continue its operations until a long-term repayment solution has been developed and the old debt paid off, it said.