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A Germania flight at Kittilä in Finnish Lapland (Photo: Finavia)

Germania stops flying, files for insolvency

The 40-year-old airline could not find €20 million in funding and recently admitted it could not pay staff salaries.

The charter turned scheduled carrier Germania ceased operations in the early hours of this morning and filed for insolvency.

The Berlin-based airline was launched as Special Air Transport in the late 1970s operating primarily as a charter carrier.

It blamed rising fuel prices, a strong dollar and maintenance issues for its recent troubles. Attempts to find about €20 million in new capital failed, according to reports.

“Unfortunately we have not been able to successfully conclude our financing efforts to cover a short-term liquidity requirement. As a consequence, we had no choice but to file for bankruptcy,” chief executive Karsten Balke revealed.

“Of course, we especially regret the impact this step has on our employees. They have always done their best as a team to ensure reliable and stable flight operations – even in the tense weeks that lie behind us.”

He concluded: “I thank you all personally and with all my heart. To passengers who cannot take their Germania flight as planned, I apologise.”

The airline advised in a statement that “regrettably, for passengers who have purchased their ticket directly from Germania, there is no entitlement to replacement transport due to the current legal situation”.

Subsidiaries Swiss Germania Flug AG and Bulgarian Eagle are not affected by the development, Germania claims.

Delivery delays
At the time of its insolvency, Germania operated a fleet of 37 A319, A321 and Boeing 737 aircraft carrying more than four million passengers a year. Last year it opened a route between Copenhagen and Pristina, Kosovo.

Germania has for some time been pressured by rising fuel prices and increasing competition, and in addition faced challenges with delayed deliveries of new aircraft and a need for unplanned maintenance of the existing fleet.

According to the German aviation site Aerotelegraph, it needed €20 million at the end of 2018 to survive.

In January, it announced it had managed to find over €15 million in new funding but the funds were apparently not paid and last week it had to admit it was not able to pay staff salaries for January. Germania Group, including the subsidiaries, employs a total of around 1,300 employees.

The company’s final flight was ST3711, from Fuerteventura on Monday night and landing in Nuremberg at 01:08 on Tuesday.

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