Vietnam revokes Viva Macau Airlines' license

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has cancelled the operating license of Viva Macau, which suspended its flights to the country on weekend, as Macau’s aviation regulator had revoked the low cost carrier’s license.

“The Civil Aviation Authority received an announcement from the Macau regulator of revoking Viva Macau’s air operator certificate in the afternoon of March 29. Based on this, the authority decided to revoke the airline’s license,” Mr. Vo Huy Cuong, transportation chief at the authority, was quoted by newspaper VNExpress on Tuesday.

“We’ll reinstate the license when the Macau regulator returns the air operator certificate to the airline,” he was also quoted.
The Macau Civil Aviation Authority said Sunday it had cancelled the airline’s operating license, and suspended all its flights on Friday, Mar. 26.

Viva Macau CEO Dr. Reg Macdonald publicizes the airline’s new ticket office in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2009 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

According to the Macau authority, the administrative decision followed Friday’s suspension of several of the airline’s flights due to a lack of payments for fuel since 2008, thus making departures from Macau to destinations such as Indonesia, Australia, Japan and Vietnam impossible.

Before the suspension, the carrier had been operating daily service to HCM City and three weekly flights to Hanoi on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Viva Macau has apologized publicly to thousands of air travelers it stranded over the weekend. It said 4,739 passengers were stuck when 33 flights were cancelled suddenly.

It issued an apology via a Hong Kong public relations company to try to explain its predicament.

“Viva Macau Airlines had taken steps, including prepayment [for fuel] of all weekend flights last Friday afternoon. Our shareholders also offered credit guarantees to the [fuel] supplier.

“Unfortunately, no agreement could be reached and therefore flights were stopped unexpectedly,” the carrier said in its statement. The low-cost carrier added it has offered refunds.

Viva Macau’s general sales agent in Vietnam, TransViet Group, has set up hotlines for enquiries at (08) 38242123 in Ho Chi Minh City and (04) 22606688 in Hanoi.

By Tuong Thuy

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