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photo: Small Planet Airlines

More turbulence for Small Planet Airlines

The charter carrier operating under the brand in Poland seeks additional investment through restructuring.

Just three weeks after announcing the restructuring of its German business, the Lithuania-based leisure carrier Small Planet Airlines has announced that its Polish wing has also entered into restructuring under Polish law.

This step, which it describes as “accelerated arrangement proceedings”, is “planned as an integral part of the business administration changes in Small Planet Group,” the company says. It entails cutting its fleet from eight aircraft to two.

Small Planet Airlines Poland recently reduced its fleet from eight planes to five and will soon cut it further to two aircraft by mid-October 2018, according to the CAPA centre for aviation. Of the two planes that are left, one will be registered in Poland and one will be wet-leased.

Bartosz Czajka, chief executive of Small Planet Airlines in Poland, admits that the carrier is experiencing difficulties including making payments to suppliers, CAPA reports.

The airline aims to reduce its operations in Poland from 2019, due to the lack of aircraft and fewer tour operator contracts. It plans to fly four planes next year, possibly including three on wet lease.

Biggest charter
Small Planet Airlines Sp. z. o. o. says it was the biggest Polish charter airline by passengers carried in 2017 and operated ten aircraft in Poland last summer.

The aim of the restructuring, it says, is to attract additional financial investment as well as cut the number of planes it flies.

“Small Planet Airlines Poland holds an EU Air Operator’s Certificate, has many years of experience serving the biggest Polish tour operators and worked with almost 100 experienced pilots and 300 cabin crews during this summer season,” says Czajka.

“I believe this is an attractive investment opportunity, especially having the restructuring plan in place. We also own valuable slots at Warsaw Chopin airport and highly demanded summer-peak slots on Greek islands, like Zakynthos, Rhodes, Heraklion and others.”

Small Planet Airlines Poland is about to finish its summer responsibilities and has started reducing the number of aircraft in the fleet for the winter season, when demand drops significantly in the local market.

Small Planet Airlines Sp. z. o. o. says it is an independent company, “so restructuring in the Polish entity will have no effect on the flights operated by Small Planet Airlines Lithuania,” which will continue flying from Vilnius and other foreign bases as planned.

A Cambodian company also operating under the Small Planet Airlines brand “will continue its usual operations as well”, the company stresses.

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