Viva Macau license revoked after flight cancelations


Viva Macau, the Chinese city’s first budget airline, had its license revoked by Macau’s aviation regulator after failing to offer assistance to passengers stranded by flight cancelations.

The carrier cancelled services on March 26 because of “fuel payment issues” and didn’t cooperate to help passengers, according to a statement on the government’s Web site. Air Macau Ltd. has ended a sub-franchise contract with Viva Macau at the request of the government and the Civil Aviation Authority has withdrawn the discount carrier’s air-operating license, it said.

“The government was greatly concerned with the negative impacts of the Viva Macau incident towards passengers and the community,” the March 28 statement said, citing Chan Weng Hong, president of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The government will also pursue repayment of 200 million patacas ($25 million) in loans made to the carrier between 2008 and 2009 “through legal means,” the statement said. Matthew Hobbs, Glady Tung and Filipa Caeiros, spokespeople for the airline, didn’t answer calls made to their offices today.

Viva Macau started services in December 2006 with two Boeing Co. 767 planes and intended to boost its fleet to as many as 15 aircraft within five years, its Web Site said.

Shareholders of the privately owned airline include Ngan In Leng, also the carrier’s Chairman, and MKW Capital, a venture capital firm with investments in Macau.