Justice Orders Seizure of Seven Aircraft Leased by Avianca since 2011

The aircraft have been out of service since May, when Anac suspended Avianca's flights

Rogério Gentile
São Paulo

A Brazilian court ordered the seizure of seven aircraft leased by Oceanair Linhas Aéreas (Avianca Brazil).

Airbus Financial Services Limited owns the planes and has leased them to Avianca Brasil since 2011. The airline had stopped paying rents and other contractual charges since last year, however, according to Airbus's petition to the courts.

FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A330 of Avianca airline. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo ORG XMIT: FW1 - REUTERS

Avianca's debt, Airbus says, already exceeds US$ 40 million. In early September, the court ordered the company to return the aircraft within five days.

As this did not happen, Judge Ricardo Negrão, of the 2nd Chamber of Business Law, ordered the seizure of the aircraft, which should occur in the coming weeks.

"The company's nonconformity does not give it the prerogative of ignoring the court order," the judge wrote in the ruling.

The planes have been out of operation since May, when ANAC (National Civil Aviation Agency) suspended all Avianca Brazil flights, claiming to fear the company's lack of ability to operate safely.

The decision was made amid the company's judicial reorganization process, requested in December 2018 due to difficulties in paying debts estimated at the time at R$ 494 million (US$ 120 million). Subsequently, the amount was corrected to about R$ 2.7 billion (US$ 657 million).

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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