Azzurra’s Avros were repossessed by Air Malta

When financially-troubled Azzurra Air parked its fleet of four Avro RJ70s and three RJ85s at Exeter in December, it blamed the move on the aircraft’s high maintenance costs. But Air Malta has now explained that it took the initiative to repossess the aircraft — which it had leased to Azzurra — because Azzurra was in default on its lease obligations. British-based Seven Group acquired a controlling interest in Azzurra in 2003. A plan to combine operations with those of French airline Air Littoral fell through when Seven Group failed to line up the required financing. Azzurra has now suspended all flights, but hopes to restart in the spring, operating charter flights with Airbus A320s and A321s. Air Malta is seeking to re-market the seven Avro RJs.

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