During the COVID-19 pandemic (since Apr-2020) seven European airlines have ceased operations: Germanwings, LGW, LEVEL Europe, SunExpress Germany, Jet Time, Laudamotion and Montenegro Airlines.
Six of these stopped flying as part of a wide restructuring within their parent groups – the two exceptions being Jet Time and Montenegro Airlines, both small airlines.
Not only has the pandemic claimed surprisingly few airline victims, but also it has not discouraged entrepreneurs from planning new airlines. Although not necessarily an exhaustive list, CAPA's databases record 18 new-start airlines in various stages of plans to launch in Europe (as at 13-Apr-2021).
Perhaps the highest profile start-ups planned in 2021 are the long haul low cost operators Norse Atlantic Airways (Europe to US) and flypop (UK to South Asia), and the Norway-based short haul LCC Flyr.
However, the list also includes Airseven, Sky Alps, Andorra Airlines, Heston Airlines, Jump Air, PRAGUSA.ONE, Bees Airline, HiSky, ASL Airlines UK, CMA CGM AIR CARGO, EGO Airways, Fly Armenia Airways, PLAY, ExtraJet and Italian Airways.
Some of these have been planned since before the pandemic, but the length of this list demonstrates that opportunity will always be seen in a crisis.