The Sao Paulo Prosecutor’s Office (MP-SP) has requested the opening of a criminal investigation against Avianca Brasil and Avianca executives, charged with not paying airport fees to the concessionaire of the Salvador Airport, Vinci Airport, according to court document.
On 25 March, Vinci filed a lawsuit against Avianca Brasil with the MP-SP seeking the recovery of BRL 9.8m (USD 2.5m) in airport fees, claiming Avianca committed the crime of misappropriating airport fees paid by passengers, which were due to Vinci Airport. This happened before the company filed for bankruptcy.
In the court document, Leonardo Avelar, the lawyer for Vinci, said that the airport fees are not included in Avianca Brasil’s bankruptcy protection process and, therefore, they have to be paid immediately.
In the lawsuit, Vinci requested the testimony of Avianca CEO Jorge Vianna, co-founder Jose Efromovich, and Frederico Pereiro, the former Avianca CEO.
Vinci also has other delayed payments with Avianca, which were included in the Avianca restructuring plan. “I don’t believe that this criminal investigation will affect Avianca’s discussion with the creditors,” a source close to the matter said.
The creditor meeting for AVB Holding and Oceanair Linhas Aereas — the two debtors that do business as Avianca Brasil — scheduled for today in Sao Paulo, has been postponed due to a lack of quorum. The second meeting is scheduled for 5 April.
Aircraft engine repossession
A Sao Paulo court granted an injunction in favor of Sumisho Aero Engine Lease against Oceanair Linhas Aereas to repossess an aircraft engine, according to a court document.
Sumisho has a lease contract with Oceanair in which the airline company agreed to pay USD 58,000 monthly. However, the company defaulted payments totaling USD 327,093.74.
Judge Guilherme Madeira Dezem decided to grant an injunction to Sumisho to repossess the engine.