Romania airline chief suspended from some duties amid losses

BUCHAREST, Romania – Romania’s transportation minister says he will suspend the general manager of the national airlines Tarom from some of his duties over financial losses and too many sick days taken by staff.

Transportation Minister Dan Costescu said Friday Tarom registered losses of 41 million lei ($10.35 million) in 2015 instead of the forecast 8 million lei ($2.02million). “If the price of kerosene had not fallen spectacularly, we would have had a disaster.”

Costescu said Christian Edouard Heinzmann, a Belgian national appointed in 2012, would be relieved from making financial management decisions starting March 22.

The minister also said one-fourth of Tarom’s staff had medical leave last year, totalling 1,500 days. He said: “this cannot go on.”

Heinzmann claims political instability and interference made his job hard.