A cat has nine lives - will MAT be as lucky?Macedonia’s MAT will be shut down in September if the carrier does not hand its financial reports to the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency (CAA). According to the agency the reports were due to be handed in on June but the CAA has given the carrier another 2 months. It is not expected that the grounded Macedonian carrier will follow through. The airline’s owners have already applied to register a new company named Mat Airways, with a leased Antonov 24 aircraft from an unknown airline called Airlift Service. The CAA has said that the airline cannot receive an operating license due to Macedonian aviation regulations which state that in order to be registered as an airline in the country the company must have at least one fully owned aircraft. If Mat Airways does not own an aircraft by July 30, 2009, its application will be terminated. Mat Airways is registered as a Cypriot company with its seat in Skopje. Another company, from Turkey, has also applied for a license.
Meanwhile, the demand in air traffic weakened in Macedonia, with passenger volumes falling 11%, the CAA director Zoran Krstevski said on Monday. "The drop is within the European air traffic decline and has been prompted by the situation on Macedonia's market", Krstevski explained. "As you know, MAT has had no aircraft for some time and it does not operate regular services, and it is also banned from flying to several countries due to debt issues in connection with Eurocontrol", Krstevski said.
In a poll conducted by this blog some time ago where a total of 56 people voted, some 61% believed that MAT would cease all operations by the end of the year. In a more recent poll in which 104 people participated, 55% said that the best solution for MAT would be a takeover by Serbia’s Jat Airways.