x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Midex faces suspension after audit

One of the main issues between the airline and the General Civil Aviation Authority is the airline's difficulty in filling key positions, called postholders.

Midex Airlines, an air cargo operator based in Al Ain, says it faces possible suspension today as it meets with civil aviation authorities over the findings of a routine audit. One of the main issues between the airline and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is the airline's difficulty in filling key positions, called postholders, whose appointees need to be approved by the authority, said Issam Khairallah, the president of Midex Airlines.

"We are under review," he said. "Tomorrow we will present our response to the audit finding, and if they don't agree they might stop us from being operational." The problem arose after two of the airline's postholders recently passed away, he said, and at least one of the replacement nominees was not approved by the GCAA. Midex received the findings of the audit on February 28. Mr Khairallah said reports on internet forums that Midex had its Air Operator's Certificate rescinded by the GCAA due to crew documentation irregularities were incorrect. He said the postings were promulgated by a disgruntled employee. Midex operated a charter flight to Afghanistan three days ago and had a flight scheduled for today. A spokeswoman from the federal flight authority confirmed the routine nature of the investigation. "The GCAA is reviewing the operations of Midex and is working closely with them to resolve operational issues. This is a routine activity conducted by the GCAA with all its operators in the region." In January, Midex, with operations out of Al Ain, Dubai and Sharjah airports, said it had bought two used Boeing 747-200s to meet a surge in demand in the Iraq and Afghanistan charter markets, increasing its fleet of freighters to nine. It first began services out of Al Ain airport in 2008, and was the first freighter operator to be based there. Midex Airlines initially planned to focus on serving the cargo market to Paris, where its parent company is based, but curtailed services when the global downturn hit. Where once Midex flew daily to Paris, it now operates only once a week. The airline is carrying about 150 tonnes of cargo a day, down from an initial forecast in 2008 of 200 tonnes a day. igale@thenational.ae