HO CHI MINH CITY (Xinhua) – Private carrier Air Mekong has its business licence officially revoked by Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport (MoT) after it has suspended flights for nearly two years, local media reported Friday.
Air Mekong’s extended licence was expired on Dec 31, 2014 as it failed to present new operation plans for 2015, one year after it suspended flights for restructuring, Vo Huy Cuong, deputy chief of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), told local Saigon Economic Times on Friday.
The carrier now has no efficient conditions to retain its business licence for air transport in line with CAAV’s regulations, said the official.
Under current laws, airlines that stop operating for 12 months in a row will have their air transport licence invalidated.
Air Mekong was Vietnam’s second privately owned carrier, besides Indochina Airlines, when it began operations in October 2010, offering services on eight domestic air routes. In 2011, VietJet Air became the country’s third private airline.
On March 1, 2013, debt-ridden Air Mekong officially announced its suspension for restructuring. Under the law, its licence should be cancelled in March 2014, but the Transport Ministry agreed to extend its validity period till Dec 31, 2014.
Shortly before the suspension, Air Mekong engaged in a debt dispute with Vietnam Air Petrol Co Ltd (Vinapco) as the carrier could not afford its petroleum payment.
VietJet Air is now the country’s only operational private carrier as Indochina Airlines lost its licence in late 2010.