Germania goes bust as low-cost carriers struggle


Berlin-based budget carrier Germania Fluggesellschaft mbH, trading as Germania, has filed for bankruptcy, citing fuel prices and currency fluctuations as the principal causes and ceasing all operations with immediate effect.

“We ultimately failed to successfully complete our financing efforts to meet short-term liquidity needs,” said managing director Karsten Balke, adding: “We very much regret that, as a consequence, we had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.”

The privately owned airline was founded in 1978 and over recent years had changed its operating strategy from charter operations to scheduled flights, expanding from carrying 2.5 million passengers in 2009 to over four million last year. By the middle of 2018, it had approximately 850 employees and a fleet of 30 predominantly Airbus A319-100 aircraft. The news of the demise of Germania will come as a blow to Airbus as Germania had placed an order for 25 A320neos which were due to deliver in 2020 as part of its Boeing 737-700 phase-out program.The news comes as a further blow to Germany’s commercial aviation sector with Air Berlin filing for insolvency back in August 2017, while other budget carriers have also fallen victim to fluctuating currency rates and fuel prices, most noticeably Ryanair which just released its last-quarter 2018 results revealing a net loss of €19.6 million (US$22.3 million), its first quarterly loss since March 2014. Last week Norwegian Air announced that it wants to raise NOK3 billion (US$0.36 billion) through a rights issue to improve its finances, while struggling Wow is currently looking for a buyer and flybe has just announced an agreement to sell the operation to a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium at a massive discount after its financial situation became “desperate”, according to chief executive Christine Ourmières-Widener.

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