Four Airlines Collapse Within a Month

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Juergen Lehle


Following what was a month to forget for European airlines, Adria Airways became the continent’s fourth carrier to cease trading within a month, on October 1.

A week prior to its collapse, the carrier stated it would suspend the “majority of its flight operations” on September 23, confirming it would “maintain a connection to its most important hub in Frankfurt”.

The Slovenian company, which operated eight Bombardier CRJ-900s, five Saab 2000s and two CRJ-700s, added it was “intensively searching solutions in co-operation with a potential investor”.

The company’s monetary problems were a potential factor in the cancellation of its Memorandum of Understanding for 15 Sukhoi SuperJet 100s in April of this year. It claimed the deal broke down as it had “raised increasing concerns about SCAC’s [Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company’s] commitment to a fair and stable long-term partnership and a lack of a shared vision for the company’s continued strategic development”. However, the Russian manufacturer rebuffed the allegations, stating that it was made aware of the 2018 financial performance of Adria Airways and was advised to “abandon the transaction in order to prevent losses”.

Just two days earlier, France’s XL Airways notified customers that it would be suspending services between September 30 and October 3 “due to financial difficulties”. The airline has since extended this period until October 7 following the postponement of a court decision until October 4.

As previously reported, Thomas Cook Group collapsed during the early hours of September 23, sending shockwaves across Europe to its subsidiaries in Scandinavia, Germany and Spain. In its wake, the UK’s largest peacetime repatriation is still ongoing.

It has been reported in the French media that former Aigle Azur shareholder Lu Azur has offered a €30m cash boost to the ailing carrier, although given his involvement with the since-defunct airline, there are doubts regarding the feasibility of his offer.

Paris/Orly-based Aigle Azur cancelled its schedules on September 7, having been put under creditor protection on the 5th. A court has since decided to liquidate the 73-year-old airline, which operated eight A320s, a pair of A330s and an A319 when it ceased flying.

Reuters has disclosed that consultancy firm IBA stated that “2019 has seen the fastest growth in airline failure in history”, noting that 17 airlines have gone bust so far this year. Among the year’s other casualties are Germania, Flybmi and Jet Airways.

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