By Nathan Morley, Travel Gazette
With the demise of Germania – one of the last larger independent airlines has flown into history. Last Monday, a bankruptcy petition was filed with the District Court in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Then, the very next day, the airline officially announced that the end had come.
The airline has more than 30 years of history. It was founded back in 1986, and made Berlin their home in 2009. Recently, however, there had been reports of losses due to a mix of high kerosene prices and disruptions in operations. The Germania Group had about 1,600 employees, administrative workers and flying personnel included.
It was no secret that the airline had recently flown into heavy financial weather. At the beginning of January, a short-term liquidity requirement was reported, which rumour estimated at 15 million euros.
With a fleet of more than 30 aircraft – and about four million passengers per year – the airline had always pursued a dual strategy working both as a scheduled flight operator and as a charter airline for tour operators, primarily to destinations in the Mediterranean and North Africa.
In all, about 60 destinations were served.
END OF THE ROAD
With the collapse of the airline, those travelling as part of a package holiday were flown home, by arrangement made with other companies. For travellers that had booked tickets off their own bat, there was no way home, other than finding (and paying for) a flight with another airline. In fact, Germania boss and principal shareholder Karsten Balke said for passengers who bought their ticket directly from the airline, there was “unfortunately no right to substitute transport”.
The demise of Germania comes a year after Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy in mid-August 2017 – in the middle of the holiday high season, leaving around 8,000 employees affected by the bankruptcy.