Air Moldova

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Air Moldova
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1 January 1993
Ceased operations3 May 2023[1]
HubsChișinău International Airport
Frequent-flyer programAir Moldova Club
Fleet size0
HeadquartersChișinău, Moldova
Key peopleAlexandru Ceban (General Director)

Air Moldova was[2][3] the flag carrier airline for The Republic of Moldova, headquartered in the country's capital Chișinău.[4] It mainly operated scheduled and charter services to destinations within Europe from its base at Chișinău International Airport. Air Moldova suspended all operations on 3 May 2023.[1]


The roots of Moldavian civil aviation[edit]

The origin of Air Moldova can be traced to 19 September 1944, when the first unit of Po-2 transport aircraft arrived in Chișinău and the Moldavian Independent Squadron was established. Aside from fifteen aircraft Po-2 biplanes operating domestic flights and serving in the agricultural role, there were also two Li-2 aircraft, used on flights to Moscow, some Ukrainian cities and to Black Sea and Caucasus summer resorts.[citation needed]

In the 1960s, considerable steps were made in the development of the local Moldavian airline industry. A new airport in Chișinău able to accommodate gas turbine aircraft was opened early in the decade. The enterprise received status of Ministry of Civil Aviation in 1965 and new Antonov An-10, An-12 and An-24 aircraft expanded its fleet. Regular flights to many cities in the USSR were begun, and the transportation of fruits and vegetables grown in Moldova to the largest industrial centers of the USSR was established.[citation needed]

The beginning of the 1970s was marked by the appearance of jet aircraft on Moldova's main air routes. The first Tupolev Tu-134 twin-jet airliner began service in Moldova in 1971 and became the main aircraft type of the enterprise, increasing in number until at one point 26 of them were in use. In Chișinău there was even an all-union test basis for aircraft of this type.[citation needed]

The fleet was further enlarged in 1972 with the Yakovlev Yak-42 tri-jet regional aircraft and in 1974 with the An-26 turboprop cargo aircraft. The route map kept expanding and the flow of traffic kept growing throughout the decade. In the middle of the 1980s, Moldavian operations received ten larger Tupolev Tu-154 tri-jet airliners, furthering the development of Moldavian aviation. At that time Moldavian aircraft flew to 73 cities in the USSR and carried over 1,000,000 passengers per year. In 1990 the first international route between Chișinău and Frankfurt was opened.[citation needed]

Creation of Air Moldova[edit]

The airline was created in 1993[5] on the basis of the local Aeroflot unit. Since the very start, the company's efforts were targeted at integration to the international market and compliance with the modern standards and requirements to high-end airlines. Air Moldova joined the management team improvement program in 1999.

On 13 July 2004, Air Moldova became an International Air Transport Association member. Air Moldova had also passed the operation safety audit and received the IOSA operator certificate. In May 2006, Air Moldova implemented e-ticketing on all its flights. The Air Moldova air operators certificate permitted the transport of passengers, goods and mail as of July 2007.[6]

In 2012, Air Moldova transported 506,000 passengers, which increased in 2013 to 527,000 passengers.[7] Further expansion occurred in February 2015 as Air Moldova ceased three routes to Bucharest, Kyiv and Sochi, as the contract with Tandem Aero, which operated them on behalf of Air Moldova, was discontinued.[8] All these factors lead to, Air Moldova transporting 1,000,000 passengers for the first time.[9]

In October 2018, it was announced that the process of privatising Air Moldova had been completed successfully, with Civil Aviation Group (a joint venture between two Moldovan business men and the Romanian airline Blue Air) becoming its owner for the sum of 50 million MDL (2.56 million EUR).[10] The new owners also bought the airline's debts of 1.2 billion MDL (61 million EUR).[11]

Suspension of operations[edit]

Air Moldova stated it would suspend all flight operations between 21 and 25 April 2023, citing ongoing financial issues. This also caused a dispute with the Moldovan aviation authorities which had mandated the airline restructure measures as well as an involved bank.[12][13]

On 2 May 2023, Air Moldova announced the suspension of all operations due to financial constrains, planning restructuring measures and filing for creditor protection.[14][1][15]

On 29 May 2023, The director and deputy director of the airline were summoned to court for exceeding their duties.[16] Air Moldova's A320 navigability certificate expired on August 21, 2023; Due to the expiration of Air Moldova's air operator certificate, the airline's service will remain suspended.[17][18][19][20]


Air Moldova operated flights to several European, Asian, and Middle Eastern metropolitan destinations from its base at Chișinău International Airport, as well as additional seasonal and charter flights to Greece, Montenegro, Spain, and Turkey.[citation needed]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

At the time of suspension, codeshare agreements were in operation with Air Moldova with the following airlines:


Air Moldova Airbus A320-200

Final fleet[edit]

In May 2023, when operations were suspended, the fleet of Air Moldova consisted of the following aircraft:[25]

Aircraft In Service Passengers
J Y Total
Airbus A320-200 1 12 150 162
Total 1

Former fleet[edit]

Air Moldova Tupolev Tu-154 (1996)
Air Moldova Yakovlev Yak-42 (2000)
Air Moldova Embraer 190 (2013)

The Air Moldova fleet previously included the following aircraft types:[25]

Fleet development[edit]

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 Airlines Boeing 737-500, the Moldavian Airlines Fokker 100, a Bulgarian Air VIA A320, Jet Tran Air MD81/82s and a Khors Air MD82 as a replacement. The Yak-40 replaced the Embraer EMB-120 (e.g. to Prague or Vienna) when that aircraft was in maintenance. The two Yakovlev Yak-42s went back to Russia in late 2003 and 2004.[citation needed]

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. The second Embraer EMB120 Brasilia was bought in 2006. In February 2015, Air Moldova phased out their remaining single Embraer EMB-120 which was operated on lease by Tandem Aero.[8]

The last Tupolev Tu-154B (ER-85285) was destroyed on July 5, 2006.[citation needed]

In November 2006, 93.1 million Moldovan lei (about 6 million) were transferred from the 2006 state budget to Air Moldova. With another 9 million lei taken from a bank, one of the six Airbus A320 has been bought. The political opposition at that time had doubts about the transparency of this deal.[26] In June 2007, Air Moldova gave back an Airbus A320 to the lessor after 38 months of service.[27]

An McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (SX-BSQ) from SkyWings was leased for 5 months from 15 May until October 2007.[28]

Embraer signed a firm order with Air Moldova for 2 one-class Embraer 190 regional jets. The contract included purchase rights for another aircraft. Delivery was on 10 May 2010. A third Embraer 190 (manufactured in 2009 and previously operated by Lufthansa and Borajet) joined the fleet in 2016. All have since left the fleet.[25]

Air Moldova medium-term leased an Airbus A321, which previously operated for Small Planet Airlines in 2019. The A321 had been painted in the airline's livery and was delivered to Chișinău on 10 May 2019.[29] It was the second Airbus A321 in the fleet, the previous one was phased-out in 2017.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c - "Air Moldova stops all flights" (German) 3 May 2023
  2. ^ "Air Moldova prodloužila přerušení letů až do poloviny července |".
  3. ^ "Air Moldova unlikely to restart - CAA".
  4. ^ "Contact us." (Direct map link) Air Moldova. Retrieved on 31 December 2010. " Legal Address: Dacia bd. 80/2, Airport, MD-2026 Chișinău, Moldova." Address in Romanian: "bd. Dacia 80/2, Aeroport, MD 2026, Chişinău, Moldova." Map in Romanian Archived 2011-07-03 at the Wayback Machine. Address in Russian: "ул. Дачия 80/2, MD-2026 Кишинев, Молдова." Map in Russian. Archived October 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Air Moldova". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  6. ^ Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Moldova Archived April 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Air Moldova". Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  8. ^ a b "Air Moldova ends Embraer 120 operations". ch-aviation.
  9. ^ "Air Moldova – peste un milion pasageri transportați în 2015" [Air Moldova – over one million passengers transported in 2015]. Air Moldova (in Romanian). 2015-12-30. Archived from the original on 2018-09-01. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  10. ^ "Civil Aviation Group takes over Air Moldova for 50 mln Moldovan lei". 2 October 2018. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Civil Aviation Group takes over Air Moldova for 50 mln Moldovan lei". 2 October 2018.
  12. ^ (German) 24 April 2023
  13. ^ - CAA cautions re Air Moldova, airline blames bank for woes 3 May 2023
  14. ^ - Air Moldova suspendă zborurile și vânzarea de bilete din 2 mai 2023 (Romanian) 2 May 2023
  15. ^ - Air Moldova anunță: Restructurarea accelerată a companiei (Moldovian) 2 May 2023
  16. ^ Directorul și vicedirectorul companiei „Air Moldova” trimiși în judecată pentru depășirea atribuțiilor de serviciu. (Romanian)
  17. ^ "Aviation Authority Suspends Air Moldova's Air Operator Certificate". 27 August 2023.
  18. ^ "Air Moldova".
  19. ^ "Air Moldova".
  20. ^ "Air Moldova".
  21. ^ "Acord bilateral Air Moldova - Fly Dubai. 95 de destinații noi și facilități la cumpărarea biletelor".
  22. ^ "Air Moldova и Turkish Airlines договорились о совместных авиарейсах. Что выиграют пассажиры? – NewsMaker". 17 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Profile on Ukraine International Airlines". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  24. ^ - Airline Partners retrieved 1 May 2023
  25. ^ a b c d [1] retrieved 25 May 2023
  26. ^ "即日現金化サービス業者情報". 即日現金化サービス業者情報. August 10, 2023. Archived from the original on May 17, 2006.
  27. ^ "SmartLynx YL-LCN (Airbus A320 - MSN 662) (Ex EC-KIK ER-AXW UR-DAK VH-HYT ) | Airfleets aviation". Archived from the original on July 5, 2011.
  28. ^ "Aviation Photo Search". Archived from the original on November 7, 2012.
  29. ^ "BoardingPass". Archived from the original on 2022-02-26. Retrieved 2019-03-30.

External links[edit]

Media related to Air Moldova at Wikimedia Commons