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Liquidation of Tame: a nightmare for the Ministry of Transport

Published on January 18, 2022

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Update to: Tame airlines will soon be no more than a memory in Ecuador

Published: Volume 4, Issue 52

Liquidation of Tame: a nightmare for the Ministry of Transport

Six months after the expiration of the term for the liquidation of the state airline Tame, there are still pending resolutions.

Among them, a series of legal problems in Tame and the lack of budget by the Ministry of Transport and Public Works (MTOP) to manage the assets and cover the liabilities of the airline.

Additionally, the MTOP does not have physical space to receive Tame’s assets, which include aircraft.

In July 2022, the term expires for the MTOP to receive the assets and liabilities of the airline, which entered liquidation in May 2020.

According to Tame, through 2021 there were $373 million in liabilities, but only $34 million in assets that they can sell.

Problems with Petroecuador

Among the assets to be sold are buildings, spare parts, machinery, land, vehicles and seven aircraft.

Tame reported that five of these seven aircraft are prohibited from sale, because the state oil company Petroecuador filed a coercive measure to collect a debt.

Petroecuador seeks to recover $184 million for the fuel it gave Tame for the planes while the airline was in operation.

In a letter to Tame, Petroecuador said that it cannot retract the precautionary measure because it wants the payment to be made with money and not with assets.

For its part, Tame warned that it cannot sell the aircraft because those interested in acquiring the aircraft do not want to do so if there are precautionary measures involved.

The liquidator of Tame, Roberto Córdova Bernal, said that the public company is in a “dead end” and that the only option is for the MTOP to assume its assets.

More obstacles

There is also a sixth Tame plane (Kodiak) that cannot be sold due to a legal action filed by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC). The entity seeks to collect $600,000 owed by the state airline in liquidation.

For now, the only plane that can be sold is an Embraer 190, with capacity for 140 passengers, which suffered an accident in Cuenca in 2016, and has a market value of $812,000.

The aircraft will be sold in pieces and parts for spare parts. Lack of budget

By July 2022, the MTOP expects Tame to solve the legal problems with Petroecuador and the DGAC to receive the planes.

But the Ministry of Transport and Public Works does not have a budget for the maintenance of the planes or to assume Tame’s debts with retirees, state entities and former clients.

The General State Budget does not contain any transfer of resources to the MTOP to cover Tame’s liabilities in 2022.

The Minister of Transport, Marcelo Cabrera, said that there is political will from President Guillermo Lasso to allocate $114 million in 2022 to cover the airline’s obligations.

For example, just for the maintenance of the seven planes, which have a value of $19.2 million, the MTOP needs between $50,000 and $60,000 per month.

“To date, the aircraft are in a perfect state of preservation,” said Tame’s representative.

There is nowhere to put them

The delivery of assets to the MTOP also presents problems due to the “lack of physical space” in the Ministry, according to the airline.

The assets to be delivered are the following:

  • Guayaquil: personal property.
  • Esmeraldas: equipment.
  • Shell (Puyo): personal property.
  • Quito: movable property, fixtures, and equipment.

In addition to that, all aircraft, equipment, tools, and aeronautical spare parts are pending delivery.

But there are Tame assets that have already been transferred to the Ministry of Transportation, such as land, buildings, commercial premises, and parking lots.

 

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