Cabo Verde Airlines (VR, Sal Amilcar Cabral International) confirmed it experienced a brief delay in paying salaries for the month of December 2019 due to unspecified “reasons beyond the company's control”, its president and chief executive told Portugal's Lusa News Agency.

Jens Bjarnason said in a statement to Lusa: “Cabo Verde Airlines regrets that it has not paid its employees their December wages before Christmas”, adding that it was not the first time this had happened.

The company “took the necessary measures to secure payments before Christmas”, but “these did not materialise, for reasons beyond the company's control. The management regrets the effects this has had on its dedicated workers,” Bjarnason said.

Cabo Verde Airlines “will honour its contractual obligations to pay the December wages before the end of the month” and “any deviation from such obligations will certainly be communicated to employees in advance,” the statement elaborated.

A spokeswoman for the carrier later informed ch-aviation in an email that payments had indeed been made on December 31.

The government of Cabo Verde completed the sale in March of a controlling 51% stake in the carrier to Loftleidir Cabo Verde, a 70/30 joint venture between Icelandair Group subsidiary Loftleidir Icelandic and Icelandic investors. It has subsequently been in the process of selling a further 3% of the company to employees and 7% to the Cape Verdean diaspora.

In an interview with Lusa in July, Cape Verdean Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva said that privatisation had avoided the company's liquidation, which had previously represented a “monthly expenditure” for the state of EUR3 million euro (USD3.36 million). The sale “creates viability” for the company by opening up its Sal Amilcar Cabral International hub, he added.

On December 17, Cabo Verde Airlines took delivery of its third owned B757-200, D4-CCH (msn 29307) and has since been deployed on routes from Sal to Fortaleza International and Recife in Brazil, Lisbon, Paris CDG, and Rome Fiumicino, according to Flightradar24 ADS-B data. It also operates a fourth (leased) B757-200, one B737-300 (wet-leased from Cobrex Trans), and one ATR42-300 (wet-leased from Lease Fly), according to the ch-aviation fleets module.