Air leasing company claims €15M from SATA

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 07-11-2020 16:00:00 · 0 Comments

Los Angeles-based airline Air Lease Corporation has filed a lawsuit claiming €15 million from SATA group's Azores Airlines.

The document, to which Lusa had access to and which was admitted to the Court of Ponta Delgada, is claiming from the Azorean carrier close to €15 million related to contracts for SATA's A321 neo aircraft.

In 2016, in the formalisation of the agreement, the Air lease corporation’s Vice President Marc Baer was in Ponta Delgada, and accompanied by the then executive chairman of SATA, Paulo Menezes, in the presentation of the company's operational plan. Lusa’s agency contacted SATA to find out if they have been notified of the process, to which they replied that they are awaiting a response from the operator.

The two air carriers of the SATA group closed with losses of about €42 million, with additional losses of €33.5 million in the same period. In their financial statements, to which Lusa had access to at the beginning of October, it is stated that Azores Airlines (which operates to and from the Archipelago) had losses of €34.5 million between January and June, while SATA Air Azores, which flies in the Archipelago, had losses of €7.6 million.

SATA's operation in the period was strongly affected by the pandemic, and the company ceased operations for most of the second quarter. However, in 2019, the group's overall losses had already been €53 million, in line with the loss recorded in 2018.

SATA recently requested state aid of €133 million, an operation approved by Brussels. However, the European Commission has opened a procedure for Portugal to prove that the three recent capital increases in the Azorean carrier were not state aid, and the deadline for the country is currently running.

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