On Tuesday, the Ministry of Transport reported that the value of the debts owed to the Office of Civil Aviation and Airports (OACA) by Tunisair Group, the Turkish company TAV Tunisia and Syphax Airlines, amounted to nearly 800 million Dinars (MD).

Up to December 31st 2017, the debts owed by the Tunisair Group to the OACA amounted to 615 MD, of which 44 MD is the annual tax on air tickets on international flights, while those owed by Syphax Airlines to the OACA reached 11.5 MD.

This announcement is the result of a working session held on Monday, chaired by Minister of Transport, Radhouane Ayara, between the OACA General Directorate and the unions, represented by the General Federation of Transport (UGTT). The meeting focused on a motion presented by the unions of OACA, to solve the financial problems, including the recovery of the debts contracted by the airlines, with the OACA.

Although the OACA has achieved profits of about 30 MD in 2017, this result does not meet the aspirations of the Office which seeks to realize its investment of about 450 MD by targeting airport improvements.

The recovery of unpaid debts remains difficult for the OACA, especially since under an agreement in April 2017 it had been agreed that the Tunisair Group would repay 4 MD per month starting in May 2017. However, to date, the national company has paid only 8 MD.

As for the debts of Syphax Airlines, that recovery is related to the decision of the receiver and the rescue program of this private airline owned by the businessman, Mohamed Frikha.

As part of the search for solutions for the restructuring of companies under its supervision, the Ministry of Transport has asked the government's presidency to give top priority to the restructuring of 10 companies as part of a five-year plan, in order to improve their financial situation and mobilize resources to enable them to regain their financial equilibrium.