- Air Moldova
logo=Air Moldova logo.png
callsign=AIR MOLDOVA [ [http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/ Airline Codes] ]
key_people= Vasile Botnari, CEO
Chişinău International Airport
Air Moldova is an
airlinebased in Chişinău, Moldova. It is the national airline of Moldova and operates scheduled services to destinations in Europe. Its main base is Chişinău International Airportcite news | title= Directory: World Airlines | work= Flight International| page= 63 | date= 2007-03-27] .
The Air Moldova air operators certificate permits the transport of passengers, goods and mail (at July 2007). [cite web | title= Air Operators| date=2007-07-05| work= Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Moldova | url=http://en.caa.md/air_operators | accessdate=2007-07-06]
The airline was established and started operations in 1992 on the basis of the local
Aeroflotunit. It is wholly owned by the Republic of Moldova and has 598 employees. On July 13, 2004, Air Moldova became an IATAmember.
In 2001 the first western aircraft were included in the fleet, an
Embraer 145jet replacing Russian equipment.
In 2003, the aircraft livery and the corporate logo were changed. On December 15, 2004, Air Moldova started its frequent flyer programme, Air Moldova Club. [ [http://www.airmoldova.md/history-en/ Air Moldova ] ]
Air Moldova's passenger growth was about 20% in 2007.
In the first half of 2007 the profit of Air Moldova was 840.000 USD.
From the 1st of January 2008 Air Moldova adopts the low-cost model. This step might make Air Moldova more competitive, when the Moldavian aviation market will be further liberalised in 2009. Also this move will attract more passengers that use mostly the traditional way of ground transportation. The first low-cost flight will be to Moscow/Domodedovo and prices start from 39 euro (one way without taxes).
The state administration is protecting the flag carrier from local competition by Moldavian Airlines or foreign airlines. Aerosvit of Ukraine and other airlines are not allowed to operate night flights which offer good connections to other parts of the world.
Until now Air Moldova was on the list of unsellable state companies. Because of lack of funds for investment, the communist government decided in June 2008 to privatize Air Moldova according to wirtschaftsblatt.at.
History of the Moldavian branch of Aeroflot
Thus the beginning of the company's activity can be counted down from September 19, 1944, when the first unit of Po-2 transport aircraft arrived to Chisinau and Moldovan independent squadron started to function. Aside from fifteen aircraft of Po-2 type operating domestic flights and serving in agriculture, at first there were two Li-2, which operated flights to Moscow, some Ukrainian cities and Black Sea and Caucasus summer resorts. In 1960s some considerable steps in development of the local airline industry were made. New airport in Chisinau put into operation at the beginning of the decade was able to serve gas turbine aircraft. The enterprise received status of Civil Aviation Administration in 1965 and new aircraft of An-10, An-12 and An-24 types enlarged its fleet. Regular flights to many cities of the USSR were opened and transportation of fruits and vegetables grown in Moldova to the largest industrial centers of the country was established.
The beginning of 1970s is marked by appearance of jet planes on country's main air lines. Tu-134 started its operations in 1971 and this aircraft type became the main air liner of the enterprise and the total number of them achieved 26. In Chisinau there even was an all-union test basis for aircraft of this type. In 1972 regional aircraft Yk-42 and in 1974 cargo aircraft An-26 enlarged the fleet. The route map kept expanding and flow of traffic grew. Further development of Moldovan aviation was conditioned by introduction of Tu-154. In the middle of 1980s the Administration received ten of them. At that time Moldovan aircraft flew to 73 cities of the USSR and carried over 1.000.000 passengers per year. In 1990 the first international line between Chisinau and Frankfurt-am-Main was opened.
The Air Moldova fleet includes the following aircraft
*2 Airbus A320-200 – since 21 September 2003 and 25 September 2007
In 2001, Air Moldova leased
Embraer120 and 145 aircraft. The two Yakovlev Yak-42s went back to Russia in late 2003 and 2004. The last Tupolev Tu-154B (ER-85285) was destroyed on July 5, 2006.
In November 2006, 93.1 million Moldovian Lei (about 6 Million Euro) were transferred from the 2006 state budget to Air Moldova. With another 9 million Lei taken from a bank, one of the two Airbus 320 will be bought. The opposition has doubts about the transparency of this deal. [ [http://allmoldova.com/index.php?action=newsblock&rid=0&lng=eng All Moldova] ]
In June 2007, Air Moldova gave back one Airbus 320 to the lessor after 38 months of service. [ [http://www.airfleets.net/ficheapp/plane-a320-662.htm Airfleets] ]
A MD-82 (SX-BSQ) from SkyWings has been leased for 5 months from 15. May till end of October 2007. [ [http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?nr_of_rows=62&sort_order=year+desc&first_this_page=0&page_limit=15&thumbnails=&&cnsearch=49372%2F1252 Airliners] ]
The Tupolev Tu-134 operated the Moscow and Istanbul flights more often when the second Airbus left the fleet. In the past Air Moldova chartered a Cirrus B735, the Moldavian Airlines Fokker 100, a Bulgarian Air VIA A320, Jet Tran Air MD81/82s and a Khors Aircompany M82 as a replacement.The Yak-40 replaces the Embraer 120 (e.g. to Prague or Vienna) when that aircraft is in maintenance.
The first Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia was part of the fleet from 12 October 2001 until 28 September 2006 when it was transferred to Tandem Aero.
The second Embraer 120RT flew between 23 April 2004 and 26 March 2005 for Air Moldova.
In general the fleet has recorded a dramatic change from obsolete soviet aircraft to more modern western-built equipment, but the aircraft still lack proper care and service and often cause distruptions and delays as they break down quite often.
Embraerhas signed a firm order with the Moldovan flag carrier Air Moldova for one one-class Embraer 190regional jet. The contract includes purchase rights for another aircraft. Delivery is scheduled for March 2010.
One can buy electronic tickets (e-tickets) on the website of Air Moldova [http://www.airmoldova.md] . The credit card used when paying for one's flight on-line must be presented in some cases at check-in to prevent fraud. Frequent travellers can collect miles and earn free flights. The inflights meals are quite simple. A sandwich is what one possibly can get or if it is a special fare flight no free food is served aboard at all. The choice of newspapers is quite limited and is sometimes not offered at all and it is mostly Russian or the official newspaper of the Communist Party.
* [http://www.airmoldova.md/ Air Moldova]
* [http://airfleets.net/flottecie/Air%20Moldova.htm Air Moldova Fleet (airfleets.net)]
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