Judge and Revenue have ‘significant concerns’ over Aer Arann’s survival plan

A JUDGE has expressed “serious and significant concerns” about a survival scheme for Aer Arann and has adjourned to next week a hearing that would allow the company come out of examinership.

The court also heard that the Revenue Commissioner’s are objecting to the scheme because under its terms it would get €181,000 of over €1 million it is owed.

Yesterday Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan said that she had “great concerns” over the scheme put together by Aer Arann’s examiner, Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton.

She said she was raising what were “very, very serious issues”, because the court lacks the jurisdiction to approve the scheme unless it is satisfied that the airline has a reasonable prospect of survival as a going concern.

The scheme, which has secured the approval of nine of the 12 classes of creditors, will see some of Aer Arann’s creditors receive all the money they claim they are owed. However, other creditors, including Revenue, will receive no more than 22% of what they are owed.

The airline’s creditors are owed some €29.5m, with AIB its largest creditor at €5.2m. The court heard that as part of the survival plan €3.5m from a group comprising British transport company Stobart and Galway businessman Pádraig O Céidigh, who owns the airline, will be invested in the company.

Of that initial investment, €1.8m will be paid to creditors and €400,000 will go towards fees from the examinership process. The balance will go towards working capital.

However, Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan said there were a number of uncertainties in the scheme. She said information was lacking on how and when certain creditors are to be paid, and on new investments.

The judge said she concerned that a statement of affairs listing all the airlines assets and liabilities had not been submitted.

The judge agreed to adjourn the case to Monday to allow the examiner address the issues raised by the court and by Revenue.


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