In 2019, there were 23 airlines across the world that ceased operation and stopped flying in the sky because of various reasons, such as financial issues and lack of demand. As the year ends, let us take a look at each of them and recognise their contributions to the aviation industry.
Fleet Size: 36 (Airbus A319, A321, Boeing 737-700)
Base Airport: Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
Start Operation: September 5th 1978
Ceased Operation: February 5th 2019
Age: 40 years 5 months
Germania was a privately owned German airline with its headquarters in Berlin. It began by operating charter flights in 1978, then moved on to become a scheduled carrier. Germania operated to destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East from its German bases. It carried 2.5 million passengers in 2009 and had around 850 employees as of 2014. After a monetary windfall of over €15 million, the airline declared bankruptcy on February 4th 2019 and ceased operations on February 5th 2019 without any notice in advance.
2. California Pacific
Fleet Size: 4 (Embraer ERJ-145)
Base Airport: McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD)
Start Operation: November 1st 2018
Ceased Operation: January 17th 2019
Age: 2 months 16 days
California Pacific Airlines was an American regional airline that was headquartered on the grounds of McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California. On December 28th 2018 California Pacific Air announced that they were suspending operations in California. In January 2019 the airline ceased all operations and is currently undergoing restructuring, though no timeline has been given by the company or its business partners.
Fleet Size: 17 (Embraer ERJ-135, ERJ-145)
Base Airport: Aberdeen, Brussels, Bristol, East Midlands, Newcastle and Munich
Start Operation: August 1987
Ceased Operation: February 16th, 2019
Age: 31 years 6 months
Flybmi was a British regional airline that operated scheduled passenger services across the UK and Europe. The head office of the airline was at East Midlands Airport in North West Leicestershire. The airline was a former subsidiary of British Midland International (BMI), which was purchased from Lufthansa by International Airlines Group (IAG) in 2012.
4. Insel Air
Fleet Size: 3 (Fokker 50)
Base Airport: Hato International Airport (CUR)
Start Operation: 2006
Ceased Operation: February 16th 2019
Age: 13 years
Insel Air was a Dutch Caribbean carrier that served as the national airline of Curaçao. It was headquartered in Maduro Plaza, Willemstad. Insel Air served destinations throughout the Caribbean and South America. The inability to convert bolívars to US dollars resulted in the airline ceasing operations of its Aruban subsidiary as of June 7th 2017; this affected the rest of the airlines’ operations, with a major downsizing of fleet and destinations.
5. Asian Express Airline
Fleet Size: 3 (Airbus A320, Avro RJ100)
Base Airport: Dushanbe International Airport (DYU)
Start Operation: 2011
Ceased Operation: January 2019
Age: 8 years
Asian Express Airline was a Tajikistani airline based in Dushanbe. It operated both domestic and international services from Dushanbe International Airport. As of August 2015 all of its international routes were flights solely to and from airports in Russia.
6. WOW Air
Fleet Size: 10 (Airbus A321, A321neo)
Base Airport: Keflavík International Airport (KEF)
Start Operation: May 31st 2012
Ceased Operation: March 28th 2019
Age: 6 years 10 months
WOW air was an Icelandic ultra low-cost carrier founded in 2011 that operated services between Iceland, Europe, Asia and North America. The airline was headquartered in Reykjavík and based at Keflavík International Airport. WOW air had been working hard for many months to financially stabilise themselves, however, talks with investment partners crumbled. After failing to financially recover itself, WOW air announced the cease of operations completely.
7. Aerolíneas de Antioquia
Fleet Size: 13 (Dornier 328-100, BAe Jetstream 32)
Base Airport: Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport (EOH)
Start Operation: 1987
Ceased Operation: March 29th 2019
Age: 32 years
Aerolínea de Antioquia was a regional airline headquartered at the Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellín, Colombia. At its peak, the airline operated scheduled domestic services from Medellín to over 20 destinations.
8. Fly Jamaica Airways
Fleet Size: 1 (Boeing 767-300ER)
Base Airport: Norman Manley International Airport (KIN)
Start Operation: February 14th 2013
Ceased Operation: March 31st 2019
Age: 6 years 1 month 17 days
Fly Jamaica Airways was a Jamaican airline headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica. The airline mainly offered routes to North America. The airline had been trying to recover after one of its aircraft crashed at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport in November 2018.
9. Air Philip
Fleet Size: 2 (Embraer ERJ-145EP)
Base Airport: Muan International Airport (MWX)
Start Operation: June 30th 2018
Ceased Operation: March 13th 2019
Age: 8 months 13 days
Air Philip was a short-lived South Korean airline. It flew on domestic as well as international routes to Vladivostok, Russia and Okinawa, Japan. The main office was in Muan County while the company governor was in Seoul.
10. Jet Airways
Fleet Size: 124 (Airbus A330-200/-300, ATR 72-500/-600, Boeing 737-700/-800/-900/-900ER/MAX 8, 777-300ER)
Base Airport: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM)
Start Operation: May 5th 1993
Ceased Operation: April 17th 2019
Age: 25 years 11 months 12 days
Jet Airways is a grounded Indian international airline based in Mumbai, India. From the third quarter of 2010 onwards, Jet Airways was the largest commercial passenger airline in India, with a passenger market share of 22.6%. With its competitors, mainly SpiceJet and IndiGo, lowering ticket fares in the following years it was forced to follow suit, hurting overall performance and resulting in steep financial losses. It dropped to second place behind IndiGo in October 2017, with a passenger market share of 17.8%. The downward slide continued unabated and, as of July 2019, the company is undergoing insolvency proceedings under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
11. Avianca Brasil
Fleet Size: 10 (Airbus A318, A319, Fokker 100)
Base Airport: São Paulo–Congonhas Airport (CGH)
Start Operation: 1998
Ceased Operation: June 24th 2019
Age: 20 years
Avianca Brasil was a Brazilian airline based in Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil. According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), which cancelled its operation, prior to cessation of operations, from January to December 2018 Avianca Brasil had 13.4 % of the domestic and 7.3 % of the international market share in terms of passengers per kilometer flown, it was the fourth-largest airline, both in domestic and international traffic in Brazil.
12. Avianca Argentina
Fleet Size: 2 (ATR 72-600)
Base Airport: Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport (AEP)
Start Operation: November 21st 2017
Ceased Operation: June 7th 2019
Age: 1 year 7 months 17days
Avianca Argentina was an Argentine airline headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with its operational hub at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in the city. The airline operated commercially under the Avianca brand through a license agreement, however it was independent of the Avianca Holdings group of Latin American airlines.
13. Al Naser Wings Airlines
Fleet Size: 1 (Boeing 737-400)
Base Airport: Baghdad International Airport (BGW)
Start Operation: 2009
Ceased Operation: April 16th 2019
Age: 10 years
Al Naser Wings Airlines was a small Iraqi airline based in Karrada, Baghdad, Iraq. The airline operated scheduled domestic flights to places in the Middle East, mostly to Damascus, Syria. On February 24th Al Naser Wings filed for bankruptcy, as of on April 16th 2019 the airline ceased all flight operations.
14. Aigle Azur
Fleet Size: 11 (Airbus A319, A320, A330-200)
Base Airport: Paris Orly Airport (ORY)
Start Operation: 1946
Ceased Operation: September 6th 2019
Age: 73 years
Aigle Azur was a French airline based and headquartered at Paris Orly Airport. The airline operated scheduled flights from France to 21 destinations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with a fleet of Airbus A320 family and A330 aircraft. The airline filed for bankruptcy and was placed in receivership on September 2nd 2019. Takeover bids were received, but none proved viable and the airline was liquidated by the court on September 27th 2019.
15. XL Airways
Fleet Size: 4 (Airbus A330-200/-300)
Base Airport: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
Start Operation: December 22nd 1995
Ceased Operation: September 23rd 2019
Age: 23 years 9 months 1 day
XL Airways was a French airline with its head offices on the grounds of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. It operated scheduled flights mainly to long-haul destinations in Africa, the Middle East, the United States and the Caribbean. as well as charter flights to medium-haul destinations in the Mediterranean, mostly out of Charles de Gaulle Airport. On September 19th 2019 XL Airways announced the suspension of all flights as of September 23rd. Ticket sales ceased immediately and the company was placed under legal receivership, then subsequently wound up.
16. Thomas Cook Airlines
Fleet Size: 34 (Airbus A321, A330-200)
Base Airport: Manchester Airport (MAN) and Gatwick Airport (LGW)
Start Operation: March 27th 2000
Ceased Operation: September 23rd 2019
Age: 9 years 5 months 27 days
Thomas Cook Airlines was a British charter and scheduled airline headquartered in Manchester, England. It was founded in 2007, from the merger of Thomas Cook Group and MyTravel Group, and was part of the Thomas Cook Group Airlines. It served leisure destinations worldwide from its main bases at Manchester Airport and Gatwick Airport, on a scheduled and charter basis. It also operated services from eight other bases around the United Kingdom. Thomas Cook Group plc, and all UK entities including Thomas Cook Airlines, entered compulsory liquidation on September 23rd 2019.
17. Adria Airways
Fleet Size: 20 (Airbus A319, Bombardier CRJ700ER, CRJ900LR, Saab 2000)
Base Airport: Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU)
Start Operation: December 1961
Ceased Operation: September 30th 2019
Age: 57 years 9 months
Adria Airways was the flag carrier of Slovenia, operating scheduled and charter services to European destinations. The company’s head office was at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport in Zgornji Brnik, Cerklje na Gorenjskem, near Ljubljana. On September 30th 2019 the airline declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations.
18. Peruvian Airlines
Fleet Size: 8 (Boeing 737-400/-500, McDonnell Douglas DC-8-73)
Base Airport: Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM)
Start Operation: October 29th 2009
Ceased Operation: October 2nd 2019
Age: 9 years 11 months 3 days
Peruvian Airlines was a Peruvian airline based in Lima. The airline offered primarily domestic flights out of its main base at Jorge Chávez International Airport. On October 2nd 2019 the airline ceased all operations due to liquidity issues.
19. New Gen Airways
Fleet Size: 11 (Boeing 737-400/-800)
Base Airport: Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
Start Operation: 2014
Ceased Operation: October 2019
Age: 5 years
New Gen Airways was a Thai international airline that concentrated on flights from Thailand to China. It operated both scheduled and charter services from 6 main Thailand hubs, Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport, U-Tapao International Airport, Krabi International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Surat Thani International Airport and Nakhon Ratchasima Airport in the southern cities of Krabi, Phuket and Surat Thani, to a total of 30 destinations in China. In October the airline forfeited its whole fleet, thus ceasing all operations.
20. Via Airlines
Fleet Size: 6 (Embraer ERJ-145)
Base Airport: Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)
Start Operation: December 2014
Ceased Operation: October 2019
Age: 4 years 10 months
Via Airlines was a US domestic regional airline offering scheduled services across the United States. The airline originally focused on scheduled Essential Air Service from Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley, West Virginia, Parkersburg/Marietta in Parkersburg, West Virginia to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, but has since withdrawn from servicing any areas and maintained only their charter services. In October 2019, the airline declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations.
21. ТАМ – Transporte Aéreo Militar
Fleet Size: 20 (Boeing 727, 737, British Aerospace 146, CASA C212, Convair CV-580, Douglas C-47, Fokker F27, Xian MA60)
Base Airport: El Alto International Airport (LPB)
Start Operation: June 15th 1945
Ceased Operation: September 23rd 2019
Age: 74 years 3 months 8 days
TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar was an airline based in La Paz, Bolivia. It was owned by the Bolivian Air Force and was established to offer flights to rural communities, where commercial airlines could not operate profitably. It also operated in competition with commercial airlines on many of Bolivia’s trunk domestic routes.
Fleet Size: 3 (Boeing 737-500)
Base Airport: Shirak International Airport (LWN)
Start Operation: 2017
Ceased Operation: November 2019
Age: 2 years
Taron-Avia was an Armenian airline headquartered in Yerevan. The airline had focused its efforts on the transfer of Georgian citizens to and from Russia via Armenia, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order on suspending Russian flights to Georgia. In November 2019, the Armenian aviation authorities revoked the airlines’ operational license; forcing them to suspend all operations after inspections turned out insufficient outcomes.
23. Astra Airlines
Fleet Size: 4 (ATR 42-300, 72-200, BAe 146-300)
Base Airport: Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG)
Start Operation: July 5th 2008
Ceased Operation: November 14th 2019
Age: 11 years 4 months 9 days
Astra Airlines was a Greek regional airline founded by Ioannis Zlatanis, founder of Interaviator Ltd, and Anastasios Zirinis, former CEO of Olympic Aviation. It launched operations on July 5th 2008 flying from Thessaloniki to Rhodes. On November 9th 2019 it was reported that Astra Airlines faced severe financial difficulties and was searching for an investor to maintain its current operations. On November 2019 14th IATA announced that it had suspended the airline, Greek travel agents were warned to stop selling tickets on the airline with immediate effect.
Based on Samchui materials