Aircraft remains detained at Dublin Airport while talks continue

ireland
Aircraft Remains Detained At Dublin Airport While Talks Continue Aircraft Remains Detained At Dublin Airport While Talks Continue
Mr Justice David Barniville was told on Friday the discussions may resolve all matters in the dispute and the 20 passengers and the crew affected have been accommodated.
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Ann O'Loughlin

The High Court has been told talks are underway in a dispute which lead to orders preventing a passenger jet leaving Dublin airport earlier this week.

Mr Justice David Barniville was told on Friday the discussions may resolve all matters in the dispute between a Romanian aircraft leasing firm, Just-US Air Srl, and Compania Aeriana "Air Moldova" Srl.

He was also told the 20 passengers and the crew affected have been accommodated.

He granted an application by Martin Hayden SC, for Just-US Air, to continue the orders preventing the jet leaving the airport, continued an undertaking for damages given by the plaintiff and adjourned the matter to next week.

The judge noted concerns expressed by Paul Sreenan SC, for the owner of the aircraft, its head lessee and managing agent, none of which are parties to the proceedings, about the impact of the case on them.

Lease arrangement

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Mr Sreenan said he was representing Bank of Utah, not in its individual capacity but as Owner Trustee; JET-i 2849 Leasing Ltd, lessee under a head lease from the Owner Trustee; and BBAM Aviation Services, which manages the aircraft and its lease to Air Moldova for the Owner Trustee.

The court heard JET-I 2819 Leasing, as lessor, had entered into a lease arrangement with Air Moldova for the aircraft.

In correspondence, solicitors for the owner and the other two companies complained the actions of the plaintiff constituted interference with the owner's ownership of the aircraft and that the rights of the owner took priority over any interest of Air Moldova as lessee.

Mr Sreenan said his clients, although not involved in the legal dispute, are caught up in it and their concerns included about the impact on efforts to sell the aircraft lease and whether the damages undertaking given by Just-US Air extends to any losses suffered by them.

Receiver

He also asked that, if the plaintiff decided to seek the appointment of a receiver over the aircraft, his side get adequate notice of any such application.

Mr Hayden said his client’s proceedings did not interfere with the rights of Mr Sreenan’s clients.

The judge said he noted the concerns of Mr Sreenan’s clients, but he did not have to address those issues as of now and may not have to, depending how the talks progress. Any application for appointment of a receiver should be made on notice to Mr Sreenan’s side, he directed.

The orders concern a Moldovan Air Airbus A319 aircraft which arrived at the airport last week and was due to return to Chisinau International Airport in Moldova.

Investigation

Ireland
Aircraft prevented from leaving Dublin airport aft...
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The orders were granted on foot of a €4.2 million arbitration award made in favour of Just-US Air Srl against Compania Aeriana "Air Moldova" Srl.

The court heard the airline had assets seized by Moldova 's Agency for the recovery of Criminal Assets in 2019 as part of an investigation into alleged criminal activity, including money laundering.

Air Moldova was the State-owned national airline of Moldova until it was privatised in 2018.

Just-US Srl claims it obtained an internationally recognised, final and binding award of €4.2m from a Romanian arbitrator following an arbitration regarding lease of an aircraft. It claims the award has not been paid, and it has sought to enforce the arbitration against Air Moldova in this jurisdiction.

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