The independent German airline Germania has filed for insolvency and terminated flight operations.
Germania, its maintenance company Germania Technik Brandenburg as well as Germania Flugdienste filed for insolvency on 4 February 2019, with flight operations terminated that night.
The airline pointed to “unforeseeable events” that caused its short-term liquidity need, such as the “massive increase in fuel prices last summer” as well as the weakening of the euro against the US dollar.
Delays in phasing aircraft into the fleet, as well as an “unusually high” number of maintenance events in its fleet were also cited as “major burdens” for the company.
Karsten Balke, CEO Germania Fluggesellschaft mbH, said: “Unfortunately, we were ultimately unable to bring our financing efforts to cover a short-term liquidity need to a positive conclusion. We very much regret that consequently, our only option was to file for insolvency.
“It is of course the impact that this step will have on our employees that we regret the most. All of them as a team always did their best to secure reliable and stable flight operations – even in the stressful weeks behind us. I would like to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart. I apologise to our passengers who now cannot take their Germania flight as planned,” Balke continued.
The Swiss airline Germania Flug AG and Bulgarian Eagle are not affected by this step.
A challenging year
In early January, Germania confirmed it was examining various financing options in order to try to ensure its short-term liquidty needs, calling 2018 a “particularly challenging year” for the industry and the airline. “We are focusing on the central question of how we can continue to be effective in a market environment dominated by airlines under larger corporate structures.”
The airline had some cause for hope on 19 January as it reported it had found a solution to cover its short-term liquidity needs. CEO Balke said at the time: “With regard to our financing efforts, we have received an important commitment today. In total, the financial support now exceeds the initial target amount of 15 million euros.”
The company said this had secured the medium- and long-term viability of the airline, adding that advance booking figures for the coming months and for the 2019 summer schedule were above those of the previous year. However, the airline has now confirmed it is unable to cover the short-term liquidity need.
The independent German airline carried more than four million passengers per year on short-haul and medium-haul flights, and its demise marks the latest in a series of European airlines to cease operations, including Primera Air and Cobalt Air in October, VLM (Antwerp and Brussels), and NextJet.