Aviation: List of airlines that didn’t survive COVID-19 pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented hard times in aviation. Aircraft have been sent to the desert, airport terminals are empty, workers are being sent home etc. Many airlines have not survived and have announced bankruptcy.

Here we have collected a list of airlines that have gone into bankruptcy, administration or Chapter 11 protection.

South African Airways
The South African Government officially moved to shut down South African Airways on 1st May.
The move will result in all employees’ contracts being terminated; however ex-SAA employees will be given employment priority in a planned new national airline, to replace South African Airways.
A new national airline will be formed, with an ideal mix of private and government ownership.

Avianca Holdings
Yesterday the second-largest carrier in South America, Avianca, voluntarily filed for reorganisation proceedings, under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.
The bankruptcy came just days ahead of looming government bond payments. All of the airline’s attempts at securing Colombian Government aid have been unsuccessful.

“We did so to protect our business as we continue to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as comprehensively address our debt and other commitments.”

The airline has stated that they considered many other possibilities, but the Chapter 11 process was the best path to protect their essential air travel services; services which span not only across Colombia, South and Central America but also across North America and Europe.

Air Mauritius
Last month, Air Mauritius entered into voluntary administration; after not being able to meet their current and future financial obligations, as a direct result of COVID-19 disruptions.
“There is uncertainty as to when international air traffic will resume and all indications tend to show that normal activities will not pick up until late 2020.”

Currently, Air Mauritius’s fleet is composed of 3 ATR 72-500s, 2 Airbus A319s, 2 A330-200s, 2 A330-900s, 2 A340-300s and 2 A350-900s.

Virgin Australia
On 20th April Virgin Australia filed for voluntary administration, after nearly 20 years of operation.

After requests for government aid were denied, on competitive grounds, Virgin Australia began working with their administrators on options to resurrect the airline, in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Facing years of operational losses and a total of $5 billion in debt, the sale of assets such as aircraft and a complete restructuring is expected.

Miami Air International
In March Miami Air International filled for Chapter 11, but this last weekend ceased operations after 29 years of air service. The airline informed their staff that they couldn’t arrange a viable acquisition or funding.

“For the last 29 years, we have worked together hand in hand as partners on many projects. Many of those projects we accomplished when others said it could not be done. Many times we were the first airline to accomplish the project.“

Miami Air had an entire fleet of Boeing 737s configured in a single class, with 168 seats; however they could be reconfigured with various options, including up to 68 First Class seats.

At the beginning of April Swedish Airline BRA (Braathens Regional Airlines) applied for court-administered reorganisation, this should protect the airline from bankruptcy.

BRA was created in 2016 in a merger of several smaller Nordic airlines; they have been serving about 20 destinations, mostly in Sweden, and employ around 1,100 people.
BRA temporarly discontinued all flights betwwen 6th April and 31th May.

Last month Alaska’s largest regional air carrier – RavnAir – filed for bankruptcy, after a decline in passenger revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RavnAir Group lost 90% of their passenger revenue across all three of their airlines, Ravn Air Alaska, PenAir and RavnAir Connect. The airline previously flew passengers, freight and mail to 115 rural Alaska communities.

Flybe entered voluntary administration, a practice similar to declaring bankruptcy, on the 5th of March.
The British regional airline was already on the brink of collapse before the COVID-19 pandemic. In January, the UK government and Virgin Atlantic tried to save Flybe.
Flybe operated 67 regional aircraft, including 54 Dash-8s, 9 Embraer 175s, 2 Embraer 190s, 1 Embraer 195 and 1 ATR72. Operating about 40% of all domestic flights in the UK.

Air Deccan
Air Deccan, a small regional airline that was once India’s largest low-cost carrier, ceased operations last April. The airline was the first Indian aviation company to go bankrupt due to the pandemic.

“In view of the recent global and domestic issues and subsequent directive by the Indian regulator (to suspend all commercial passenger flights till April 14) Air Deccan has no choice but to cease its operations until further notice.”

Air Deccan had a fleet of four 18 seater Beechcraft aircraft, flying on regional routes specially in western India.

Trans States Airlines
St. Louis-based regional carrier Trans States Airlines, that flies routes for United under the United Express brand, ceased operations last month.

The airline had planned to shut down by the end of 20220, consolidating their operations with ExpressJet Airlines, but due to the “unforeseen impact of Coronavirus” the airline ceased all operations on 1st April.

Trans States Airlines flew for nearly 40 years and included partnerships with well-known airlines like Trans World Aviation (TWA). At the time of ceasing operations they had a fleet of 40 Embraer ERJ-145s.

Compass Airlines
Compass Airlines, which flies regional routes for American Airlines as American Eagle and Delta Airlines as Delta Connection, shut down all operations on 7th April.

The last revenue flight operated by the airline was American Eagle Flight 6047 from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Los Angeles, California on 5th April.

Compass is the second Trans States-owned airline to close doors since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: samchui.com

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