The group says that all scheduled flights will continue to operate as it restructures its German business.
The German wing of the charter and leisure carrier Small Planet Airlines has filed an application to the courts for insolvency. The group’s headquarters is stressing that this will not affect its ongoing operations in other countries.
Small Planet’s German representatives have applied to a court in Berlin for insolvency with the intention of carrying out a restructuring process.
The Vilnius-based Small Planet Group says that the Air Operator’s License of Small Planet Airlines Germany GmbH will remain in place and that all of its scheduled flights will continue to operate as before.
Small Planet Airlines GmbH has been operating as an independent entity since 2015, acquiring an Air Operator’s Certificate in spring 2016. This year it “decided to go for rapid expansion which didn’t go according to plan,” Small Planet Group says.
“After Air Berlin went bankrupt last year, a niche emerged for the other carriers and Small Planet Airlines Germany chose to almost double in size year on year in order to take advantage of these newly opened possibilities in the market,” explains Vytautas Kaikaris, chief executive of Small Planet Group.
“However, the company struggled to manage this successfully due to several factors. Late delivery of aircraft before the start of the summer season, shortage of crews in the market, unreliable sub charter aircraft and unforeseeable technical events had a devastating impact on a very intense schedule, which led to flight irregularities, which in turn led to an increasing cost burden.”
Kaikaris continues: “The financial losses incurred by the German company forced it to file for a restructuring process under German law. Nevertheless, the company continues operations under restructuring.”
He added that “we all stand together in this period to achieve the best possible result out of the restructuring for our employees, clients and partners”.
Working with tour operators
Small Planet Airlines’ businesses in Lithuania, Poland and Cambodia will continue to operate their flights as planned and will prepare for the upcoming winter season by cooperating with tour operators and carrying passengers to popular destinations, the group says.
The Lithuanian and Polish entities will also continue implementing seasonal winter projects in Asia, which are aimed at increasing aircraft utilisation and balancing seasonality.
By the end of this year, Small Planet Airlines expects to fly 3.9 million passengers, an increase of 29% from 2017. Small Planet Airlines’ fleet consists of 29 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, with which it says it operates around 240 leisure routes from 15 European bases.