Waves in third attempt to put off its repayment case
‘A LATE attempt to avoid the inevitable’ was how airline Waves’ attempt to have the States’ case against it adjourned for four weeks, as described by Deputy Bailiff Richard McMahon.
The company is being actioned for nearly £40,000 – £12,018.51 and £10,674.79 for outstanding income tax and an additional £16,934.89 for unpaid social insurance contributions.
The matter has already been before the Ordinary Division of the Royal Court twice and at a previous hearing Waves founder and director Nick Magliocchetti requested an adjournment in order to give the company time to seek investors.
A further one-week adjournment was granted at a later hearing, which Mr Magliocchetti did not attend.
On its most recent hearing, Advocate Anthony Williams said he was now representing the company – Waves Technologies Ltd – but since he had been formally instructed only the night before he was not familiar with the exact amounts owed.
He requested a one-month adjournment. He would be giving advice to his clients about the restructuring of the company, he said.
Deputy Bailiff Richard McMahon, presiding, said that he was disappointed with the application.
‘I regard this as a late attempt to avoid the inevitable,’ he said.
He adjourned the matter for a week: ‘I am satisfied that seven days is more than enough to take the required instruction and come up with a solution.’
An action against WO1, a company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Waves, for just over £10,100, was also adjourned for a week.
Crown Advocate Jason Hill represented the States.
Waves issued a statement following the court sitting in which it said it has made ‘significant contributions to the States of Guernsey’ and has paid more than £175,000 of contributions since it started operating in January last year.
It pointed out that the amount it owes to Income Tax and Social Security is from the first quarter of 2018 – a period during which it was ‘not allowed to fly ‘on a single-seat basis’ due to the judicial process taking place.
‘This decision resulted in a significant reduction of the company’s revenue.
‘As a current AOC [air operator’s certificate] holder, Waves was not able to reduce overheads of staff salaries and had to continue to maintain an aircraft, hangarage and regulatory obligations and expenditure.’
The statement notes the irony of the court action coming just weeks after the States approved an ‘open skies’ policy that removed the need for airlines to hold route licences on any routes apart from Gatwick and Alderney.
‘Ironically, this being the very reason Waves were forced to change their business model earlier in the year, due to the legal challenge of the incumbent operator.
‘It is a disappointing blow for the innovative business and its large number of local investors and staff, who many consider “brave” to take on the job to improve the islands connectivity in such a challenging environment.’
n The Petty Debts Court recently awarded judgement with costs to the States Policy & Resources (recoveries) against WO1, for £7,620.80 and for £1,452.01, and to Source Recruitment Specialists Ltd against Waves Technologies Ltd, for £1,517.28.