MAT to declare bankruptcy

If only MAT had more of these
Courts in Macedonia will begin bankruptcy procedures for the country’s grounded national carrier on January 18. The airline recently lost its Air Operations Certificate (AOC). The bankruptcy motion was filed by the Civil Aviation Directorate. It is believed that since the airline’s status as a national carrier is set to expire in September 2010 other airlines were reluctant to takeover the indebted MAT.

MAT Macedonian Airlines owes millions to various companies. It is indebted 6.5 million Euros to Jat Airways, a lump sum of 3 million to Skopje and Ohrid airports, 2.5 million to EUROCONTROL, 2.1 million to both Bombardier and the Macedonian fuel supplier (although the latter could be written off by the Government) and 2 million to the CIT Group. The airline is also in court for selling tickets to various destinations even though it had already ceased operations. The total sum of that court process could cost another 300.000 Euros. The airline also owes unknown sums to unpaid former employees as well as spare part suppliers.

If the Macedonian Civil Aviation Directorate issues necessary licenses MAT will be relaunched under the name Mat Airways this summer. The project is headed by the Serbian tour operator Kontiki and the former management of MAT Macedonian Airlines.