1-Apr-2010 10:22 AM

Canadian carrier, Skyservices Airlines suspends service

Skyservices Airlines stated (31-Mar-2010) it has shut down its operations, with FTI Consulting Canada Inc appointed as Receiver pursuant to an Order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice of all the assets, undertakings and properties of Skyservice Airlines Inc. The decision grants the request of the private company's lead secured creditor, Thomas Cook (earlier this year, Sunquest Vacations' parent, Thomas Cook Canada Inc, took over CAD8.8 million (USD8.7 million) in Skyservice debt from another lender)  (Reuters/CTV/Canadian Press/Financial Post/The Star, 31-Mar-2010). The carrier stated it could no longer operate profitability due to changes in the Canadian vacation tour market and due to high debt levels (although figures were not disclosed). Skyservices was founded in 1986 and employs over 1,200 staff operating more than 20 commercial aircraft to destinations in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe. It had operated aircraft for Sunquest and other tour operators, including Signature Vacations and Sunwing Vacations, between Canada and destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico since 1995. Sunquest has organised replacement flights, largely with Air Transat and Enerjet, for all passengers affected by the suspension of operations, adding that it is "committed to winding up the business in an orderly and responsible manner". The company added that it would "continue to treat employees and other stakeholders fairly and in a transparent manner throughout this process." . [more - Skyservices Airlines] [more - Transport Minister] [more - itravel2000] [more - Sunquest Vacations]

Thomas Cook: "Thomas Cook and Sunquest did everything possible to assist Skyservice and limit the effect of its financial difficulties on travelers. Unfortunately, faced with unprecedented difficulties in the airline business, Skyservice could not return to viability,"  Michael Friisdahl, Thomas Cook North America CEO. Source: Reuters, 31-Mar-2010.

Canadian Government: “Skyservice has indicated that it will ensure passenger issues are resolved promptly by working with all tour operator customers and other providers. The Government of Canada is carefully monitoring the situation and encouraging Canadian airlines to assist affected passengers," John Baird, Transport Minister. Source: Company Statement, 31-Mar-2010.

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