Another One Bites The Dust – Germania Declares Bankruptcy

Seems like this winter season has claimed another victim. With numerous airlines already struggling financially and airlines such as Primera Air, Cobalt Air and Small Planet Airlines ceasing all operations during this past year, a difficult year continues to put the industry under a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, another airline declared insolvency – Germania.

A Rich Germania History

The now-bankrupt airline started its operations 31 years ago. The airline, called Special Air Transport at the time, was based at Cologne, Germany. In 1986, following a restructurization process, the airline changed its name to Germania. Primarily focusing on providing charter services for airlines such as TUI and Condor, later on, the carrier started shifting its focus to direct sales. Germania moved its main office to Berlin Tegel Airport in 1992. Afterward, in 2003 Germania started offering direct flight tickets to passengers under Germania Express or gexx.

An abrupt pause halted their direct scheduled flights in 2005, because of gexx’s merger with DBA. After a 3 year pause, Germania once again began offering scheduled flights from their bases in Berlin and Düsseldorf. Ambitious plans followed in 2015 when the airline announced it would retire it’s Boeing 737’s and replace them with the Airbus A320 family aircraft. That process was due to being in 2019 and finish in 2020.

Nevertheless, just as 2018 ended, Germania reported heavy losses for the fifth year in a row. The airline’s owners were looking for potential buyers for the airline, as the losses were too much to handle. However, a light at the end of the tunnel appeared just in time. On the 10th of January, 2019 the airline’s CEO, Karsten Balke wrote a letter to its employees stating that there were positive discussions going on with potential investors to keep the airline going.

Germania's Boeing 737
Germania’s Boeing 737

Sudden Bankruptcy

Sadly, the deal must’ve fallen through. As suddenly the company announced its insolvency and that is ceasing all operations as of February 5th, 2019.

The airline stated that increasing fuel prices, the weakening Euro against the US Dollar, delays with aircraft deliveries and an absurd amount of maintenance events required for their aircraft contributed to the insolvency.

At the time of its bankruptcy, the airline offered flights to over 40 destinations with a fleet of 28 aircraft. It also has 2 subsidiaries, one in Bulgaria and one in Switzerland. Karsten Balke announced that Bulgarian Eagle and Germania Flug brands are not going to be affected by the insolvency. Despite the bankruptcy, those brands will continue operating as normal. On the other hand, its maintenance company Germania Technik and Germania Flugdienst are also going down under.

The CEO of the company, Karsten Balke said this: “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 apologize to our passengers who now cannot take their Germania flight as planned.”

Karsten Balke, Germania CEO
Karsten Balke, Germania CEO

What about my flight tickets?

The airline announced that passengers who booked travel packages with Germania’s flights can contact their travel agencies. Subsequently, they will offer an alternative airline to travel with.

For those who purchased tickets from Germania, unfortunately, the airline will not provide any solutions. Speaking about compensations for canceled flights, the carrier has not posted any news regarding this.

A sad ending to one of Germany’s biggest airline brands, which joins Air Berlin as one of the German airlines that have ceased to exist.

As for pilots? Well, do not let your head down. Opportunities are all around you to advance your career further. If you want those opportunities not to be scattered around and in one place, we recommend attending Pilot Career Show events.

The closest one is in Athens in March, while the next event in Germany is on the 2nd of May in Frankfurt. Read more here: https://www.pilotcareershow.com/

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