22-Sep-2009 12:27 PM

SkyEurope co-Founder blames hedge fund for the LCC's collapse

SkyEurope Airlines co-Founder, Christian Mandl, blamed the collapse of the carrier on the hedge fund that took control of the airline in 2007 (euractiv.com, 18-Sep-2009).

SkyEurope Airlines: “In my opinion, the hedge fund that took control of SkyEurope and the loyal, but incompetent, management they appointed decided to implement the exact opposite strategy to the one I had been pursuing: they offered the Hungarian and Polish markets to our competitor Wizz Air, although our Krakow base was our best performer, and started a significant downsizing of the fleet. During the last two years, nothing new was built, but everything that had existed was destroyed, the only exception being the strong company culture that lasted till the very end. Our attempts to find an honourable exit for our financial shareholder - which lacked aviation experience - failed, as they could not agree on a price with Air Berlin and Lauda's FlyNiki joint venture in Austria, which had expressed serious interest,” Christian Mandl, Co-Founder. Source: euractiv.com, 18-Sep-2009.

SkyEurope Airlines: “The first mover is not always the most successful. SkyEurope performed pioneering work in Central and Eastern Europe, contributing to the democratisation of air transport and allowing close to 15 million people to fly during the eight years it operated across what used to be the Iron Curtain. Even if it failed, it paved the way for others in the region such as EasyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air,” Christian Mandl, Co-Founder. Source: euractiv.com, 18-Sep-2009.

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