“Come a cropper”…............…”Falling foul of the law”.........……phrases we generally like to keep our distance from. Its one thing to knowingly invite trouble upon oneself but to experience the full force of it through no fault of your own is an entirely different matter………….
Recently the long arm of the law reached out and gripped an Airbus A319-112 (ER-AXL) of Air Moldova impounding it after it landed at Dublin Airport. The scheduled flight from Chisinau to Dublin arrived Dublin at 22:20 on the evening of Tuesday 9th of February, experiencing nothing untoward during the 3hr 40min flight.
However, behind the scenes cogs in the legal system were turning resulting in a High Court order being obtained through Irish solicitors, to seize the aircraft at Dublin due to alleged unpaid fee’s in accordance with the lease agreement on the A319. Once engines were switched off the captain was informed and essentially the “clampers” sprang into action. All very embarrassing for the airlines owners as the passengers booked on the return flight received the news.
Whatever about the inconvenience inflicted upon the passengers, although sympathy may be in short supply as the vast majority of them should heed Public Health Advice and not engage in international travel, spare a thought for the pilots and cabin crew who found themselves stranded – lets hope they packed spare socks!
The 2006 yr A319 is one of two in the Air Moldova fleet but is without the blue coloured fuselage of the full livery. Other residents include an A320-200 and an A321-200. Having visited Paris, Rome and Istanbul in the immediate few days before its Irish visit, its interesting the impounding was arranged through the Irish legal system and conducted at Dublin. This decision appears to have little to do with the lessor as the company is a Romanian aircraft leasing firm, Just-US Air Srl. After legal discussions between both parties took they’re course, agreement was reached allowing the A319 to be unshackled, departing Dublin Airport in the early hours of Wednesday 3rd of March.
Air Moldova, formerly State owned was acquired privately in October 2018. Sandwiched between Romania to the south and Ukraine to the north, Moldova is served with routes from Chisinau to Sharm el-Sheikh, Moscow, Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, Milan & Frankfurt, not forgetting the airlines favourite destination, Dublin.
Photo by Adolfo Bento de Urquía