The Philippines' Bureau of Customs has seized the sole BAe 146-100 operated by Skyjet Air (M8, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) for alleged non-payment of taxes, ABS-CBN has reported.

The aircraft, RP-C8538 (msn E1104), has been impounded at Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l airport for over a year already, although more details have only surfaced now.

The seizure relates to the tax dues accumulated under the previous management of the airline before 2016, current CEO Patrick Tan has told ch-aviation.

"The company’s new management has conducted its internal compliance audit and due diligence and has undergone management and corporate restructuring since 2016. It is committed to correcting the previous management's erroneous practices and has proceeded to strictly comply with all applicable regulatory laws and regulations," Tan has explained.

The tax collectors have ordered the airline to repay PHP90,000 pesos (USD1,700) in overdue taxes, customs fees, and interests. The case was launched after the port authorities at Subic Bay, the Philippines' main harbour, notified the authorities of missing payments from the airline.

Skyjet Air has appealed against the aircraft seizure. If the court would side with the Bureau of Customs and the airline fails to repay its debt, the aircraft would be sold through a public auction.

The Bureau of Customs has put a PHP583.6 million peso (USD10.9 million) price tag on the 1989 vintage quadjet which is owned by Magnum Air, the owner of the Skyjet Air brand.

"Skyjet Air is willing to comply with any lawful decision that may arise from this seizure proceeding which resulted from the previous management’s illegal acts. It will remain strong in pursuing the criminal case filed against the previous management in February 2016, long before this seizure case came about," Tan has said, adding that the airline had been actively cooperating with the BOC even before it issued the warrant of seizure and detention for the aircraft back in May 2017.

Skyjet Air also has another BAe 146-100 and four BAe 146-200s in its fleet. According to the ch-aviation capacity module, the airline operates domestic flights out of Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l to each of Basco, Busuanga, and Siargao.