The Prague Airport subsidiary detained two CSA aircraft due to unpaid invoices, Smartwings considers it illegal
An aircraft maintenance company detains two ATR 72 turboprop aircraft. Smartwings declares such a move illegal.
Czech Airlines cannot use two ATR 72 turboprop aircraft. Due to outstanding liabilities, they were detained by Czech Airlines Technics (CSAT), which belongs to the Prague State Airport. Smartwings consider the move illegal.
“Due to unpaid liabilities for aircraft maintenance and other services performed for Czech Airlines, Czech Airlines Technics, after careful consideration of the situation in accordance with civil law, exercised the right to insure the two aircraft currently operated by CSA.” said CSAT spokeswoman Kateřina Pavlíková. CSAT performs aircraft maintenance.
The planes are not CSA, the airlines are their operator. “The CSAT proceeded with the utmost caution and exercised this right of retention specifically on two ATR aircraft, one of which was an aircraft parked and not currently in service. We informed the airline management about this step and presented a possible solution, “ added Pavlíková. According to her, CSAT has not yet received comments from CSA on possible solutions. According to Pavlíková, it cannot endanger the aircraft in CSA’s operation, because the Smartwings group, which is already part of CSA, has about 40 aircraft at its disposal.
CSA had to cancel flights
Czech Airlines and Smartwings are in a so-called moratorium until the end of February, when they are protected from creditors. “We are aware of the difficult situation of air carriers, but we must first and foremost protect the interests of society and act in accordance with the principles of good economy,“Added Pavlíková.
Smartwings warned yesterday that CSA needs state aid, otherwise it will end up in insolvency. Smartwings spokeswoman Vladimira Dufkova said the plane was an illegal move. “The CSAT abolished the principle of an extraordinary moratorium. CSAT’s actions represent unprecedented actions leading to the liquidation of CSA by a state-controlled company, “ said Dufkova. According to her, to intercept aircraft without prior notice. “The immediate consequence of this infringement was the cancellation of regular scheduled flights operated by ATR aircraft, which, in addition to CSA, also harms our customers. In addition, the aircraft are not owned by CSA. It is therefore the property of a third legal entity with its registered office outside the Czech Republic and there is a risk of international arbitration, “ added Dufková.
According to it, CSAT’s receivables are secured by a security transfer of the right to the aircraft engine and other technical equipment of the aircraft. “In addition, part of the receivables was acquired by CSAT through a transfer from a Czech leasing company, “ she added.
Added CSAT statement at 18:44
In our legal opinion, there is nothing in conflict with the extraordinary moratorium or the insolvency law as such. We also oppose the claims of Smartwings Group, which is trying to blame CSA’s impending bankruptcy on our company. We have already received CSA’s response, we are analyzing it and preparing a response.
With the management of CSA, we have been resolving the payment of our receivables for a long time, but like the airline, the decline in air traffic has an impact on the aircraft industry, so we must first protect the company’s interests and act in accordance with the principles of good economy. Where possible, we agreed with the airline on the repayment schedule or other options such as the right of security for some spare parts. However, the value of receivables that we record for CSA overdue is so high that we now had to exercise the right of retention for two aircraft.
We also submitted to CSA management specific possible proposals for solutions on how to proceed now. As soon as the carrier’s obligations to Czech Airlines Technics have been paid, we are ready to release the aircraft immediately.