Inoperative Vietnam carrier Air Mekong may lose license

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Inoperative Vietnam carrier Air Mekong may lose license

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Private carrier Air Mekong may have its license revoked after it failed to operate for one year as of March 1.
It has also failed to file a revival plan with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), which has given it time until March end.

Vo Huy Cuong, deputy chief of the CAAV, told news website Saigon Times Tuesday that his agency has not received a response from the carrier to its reminder a few days ago.

The CAAV is still waiting for a reply but would recommend that the Ministry of Transport should consider canceling the license if Air Mekong misses the month-end deadline for its resumption plans.

Vietnamese law stipulates that an aviation business would lose its license if it is inactive for a year.

Air Mekong, which belongs to Halong Investment and Development Company, stopped flying on March 1 last year and returned its four Bombardier CRJ-900 airplanes to the lessor as part of its restructuring after less than two and a half years of operation.

While it denied it was caused by financial difficulties, it failed to pay Vinapco, which was selling VND1.3 billion ($61,660) worth jet fuel to the carrier daily, even when still operational.
The firm had to repeatedly demand payment, and Air Mekong said in January last year that it had paid off the debt.

The carrier, established with a capital of VND280 billion ($13.3 million), was one of three private airlines in the country.

Another, Indochina Airlines -- which ran up huge losses -- lost its license in 2011.
VietJet Air is now the sole private carrier to remain in operation.

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