30-Jan-2012 10:29 AM

Spanair ceases operations on 28-Jan-2012

Spanair ceased operations on 28-Jan-2012 as it was “faced with the lack of financial visibility for the coming months” according to the carrier. The airline, which employs approximately 2000 staff, had been struggling in recent years, with its financial problems exacerbated by an incident in 2008. Details of the shutdown are as follows:

  • Details of shutdown: The shutdown came after the regional Government of Catalonia stated it would no longer fund the airline following Qatar Airways’ withdrawal from talks to purchase the carrier and amid Spain’s economic downturn. According to media reports from sources including Reuters, Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal, the government noted that “it is impossible for the Catalan government to provide new capital” for the carrier;
  • Spain’s Government launched legal action against the carrier for its shutdown which could see the airline fined up to EUR9 million (USD11.9 million) for two "serious infringements" of aviation security legislation according to Spain’s Development Minister, Ana Pastor. The infringements relate to the airline’s obligations to continued service and passenger protection;
  • Ownership: Spanair was 85.6% owned by the Catalan Government and 10.9% owned by SAS Scandinavian Airlines. The remainder was held by a group of Catalan businesspeople. SAS announced its profit will be affected by approximately SEK1.7 billion (USD252 million) due to Spanair's bankruptcy; [more - original PR - SAS]
  • Network and fleet: According to Innovata, Spanair operated short-haul services across Western Europe and Northern Africa. Spanair was Spain’s fifth largest airline by system capacity, holding 5.9% of system capacity according to CAPA. Its five largest hubs were (in order) Barcelona El Prat, Madrid Barajas, Palma de Mallorca, Bilbao and Gran Canaria Las Palmas. The airline’s fleet consisted of 30 aircraft including A320, A321 and MD-80 equipment;
  • Impact on passengers: According to reports, at least 22,000 passengers were initially affected over the weekend of 28-Jan-2012 to 29-Jan-2012. Iberia, Ryanair and easyJet stepped in to carry passengers stranded by Spanair’s shutdown on 27-Jan-2012. Iberia and Ryanair offered special fares for affected passengers to purchase and Iberia offered additional services to cater for demand. easyJet brought forward its launch of Madrid-Bilbao service from 19-Feb-2012 to 30-Jan-2012 in order to offer transportation to passengers. Spanair is now in talks with the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) to organise refunds for ticket holders who had not yet flown. [more - original PR - Spanair] [more - original PR - Iberia] [more - original PR - Ryanair] [more - original PR - easyJet] [more - original PR - easyJet Madrid-Bilbao launch] [more - original PR - ELFAA]

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