Indebted Air Moldova sold to Romanian group for $71 million

FeaturesAssociated Press

The Moldovan government says loss-making national airline Air Moldova has been sold to a Romanian group for 1.2 billion Moldovan lei ($71 million.)

The Public Property Agency said Tuesday that Civil Aviation Group paid 50 million lei ($2.96 million) to Moldova's state budget. The remaining money from the purchase will go toward covering debts that were sold to prevent the airline's bankruptcy.

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Air Moldova was founded in 1983 and has flights to 33 destinations.

The group said it would keep Air Moldova's status as the national airline. The new owners also plan to launch seven new routes next year and four more in 2020.

The Civil Aviation Group includes Romanian low-cost airline Blue Air and two Moldovan associates. One is co-owner of AMS Airlines, an air cargo company in Georgia.