Category Archives: Belair Airlines

Belair declares bankruptcy, will not fly again

Leased from Airberlin on June 1, 2017

Belair Airlines of Switzerland made this declaration on August 15, 2018:

The board of administration of Belair Airlines AG, headquartered in Glattbrugg (Switzerland) on August 15, 2018 resolved to issue a declaration of insolvency for Belair within the week.

This step was preceded by intense preparations since January 2018, aiming at a new start for the company in the summer of 2018. The plan had been to restart flight operations starting summer 2018 as a provider of wet lease flights (ACMI) for other airlines and of charter flights. Belair Airlines AG was acquired by Düsseldorf-based SBC AG from the insolvency assets of Air Berlin in January 2018.

Essential prerequisites for new start initially well on their way

Among the essential prerequisites for taking up flight operations again – as originally intended – from summer 2018 were a sufficient number of skilled and motivated employees, successful negotiations with potential customers, the interim securing of the operating costs, as well as the re-obtaining of the air operator’s certificate (AOC).

Skilled workforce

Immediately after the announcement of the preparation for a restart of the company in Jan- uary 2018, essential know-how carriers of the workforce who had been laid-off already in 2017 during the ownership of Air Berlin returned to Belair. At one point, Belair had approx. 20 employees with comprehensive knowledge of the processes and procedures necessary for flight operations who advanced the intense preparations for the restart of the company, putting forth an immense effort. In addition, more than 100 employees stood by to ensure flight operations.

Contract with new customer concluded

Furthermore, the management of Belair around CEO Michael Hoevel led successful negotia- tions with one of several potential customers. At the end of April 2018, a corresponding con- tract was concluded with a large customer from the tourism industry on the basis of an LOI (“letter of intent”) signed as early as the beginning of April. This contract stipulated the pay- ment of a first significant partial amount shortly after the conclusion of the contract. How- ever, this payment was never made.

Air operator’s certificate (AOC) not granted yet

To take up flight operations again, it was necessary to re-obtain the air operator’s certificate (AOC) through the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (BAZL – Bundesamt für Zivilluftfahrt). Besides proof of essential skills, suitable processes and in-company structures, proof of suffi- cient funds within the company was an important prerequisite for re-obtaining said air oper- ator’s certificate. Those funds were intended to be ensured in the restart preparation phase by means of contracts with at least one customer as well as the contribution of one or more investors.

Investor discussions finally unsuccessful contrary to expectations

In addition to talks with potential customers, numerous discussions were conducted with in- terested investors. For this purpose, the company including its significantly advanced business model was introduced to several potential investors over the past months. In the process, a potent investor was found and convinced of the advanced business model of Belair and the considerable demand on the market in the course of an intensive review (due diligence) and was planning on making a significant contribution. Unfortunately, said investor has now abandoned discussions at short notice, contrary to previous statements. Consequently, the air operator’s certificate could not be issued.

Declaration of insolvency unavoidable

In view of these developments – following the intensive restart preparation measures taken since the start of the year, the non-payment of aforementioned customer since late April and the surprising cancellation of the prospective investor – this resolution to issue a declaration of insolvency within the week was unavoidable.

The negative repercussions of this development in particular also affect the employees of Belair, who had supported the restart preparations with great commitment and profession- alism. They can now no longer be offered the prospective professional development. The management will provide support for their professional re-orientation within its capacity.

Regarding the development in the past months

Belair was acquired by SBC AG, based in Düsseldorf (Germany), a consulting firm specialising in reorganisation and restructuring, from the insolvency assets of Air Berlin in January 2018. Belair had been part of the Air Berlin Group since 2007. The liquidation of Belair had already been initiated by Air Berlin in the course of 2017. A first attempt by SBC to take over Belair in autumn 2017 initially failed since Air Berlin at the point in time back then was prevented from implementing this transaction for reasons of insolvency law. Subsequent to the takeo- ver, intense work on a restart of Belair had taken place since January 2018. It included further development of the business model as well as numerous intense discussions with customers and investors.

Top Copyright Photo: Airberlin (airberlin.com) – Operated by Belair Airlines Airbus A321-211 WL HB-JOU (msn 6454) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 938930.

Airberlin-Belair aircraft slide show:

Below Copyright Photo: Before Airberlin, Belair Airlines was an independent carrier. Belair Airlines (flybelair.com) Boeing 767-3Q8 ER HB-ISE (msn 27600) ZRH (Paul Denton). Image: 911970.

Belair aircraft slide show:

Belair Airlines (flybelair.com) Boeing 767-3Q8 ER HB-ISE (msn 27600) ZRH (Paul Denton). Image: 911970.

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Belair to resume operations under new ownership this summer

Belair Airlines AG (Zurich) was bought from the insolvent Air Berlin Group by SBC Restructuring and Investments AG (Dusseldorf) on January 15, 2018.

Belair, now an independent company, will restart flight operations in summer 2018 as a provider of wet-lease capacity (ACMI) for other airlines as well charter flights.

Like Airberlin, Belair ceased operations on October 28, 2017.

SBC is an investment company headquartered in Düsseldorf in North Rhine-Westphalia with considerable operational expertise. The focus of the company is “on advising owner-managed companies and group companies with regard to reorganization and turnaround, and in crisis situations.”

Belair is acquired by German investment company SBC

Belair Airlines (flybelair.com) Boeing 767-3Q8 ER HB-ISE (msn 27600) ZRH (Paul Denton). Image: 911970.

From Reuters:

Belair Airlines AG (Zurich), formerly part of collapsed Air Berlin, has been taken over by German investment company SBC (Dusseldorf).

SBC stated it wanted flights to resume as soon as possible and former Belair staff would be offered their jobs back after it made a deal with Air Berlin’s administrators.

A spokesman for SBC declined to say how much it paid for the low-cost Swiss airline, which had sales of around 90 million Swiss francs ($93.47 million) in 2016.

Belair, like Airberlin, halted operations on October 28, 2017.

Copyright Photo: Belair under new ownership will revert back to its own brand before the Airberlin takeover. A new livery is likely. Belair Airlines (flybelair.com) Boeing 767-3Q8 ER HB-ISE (msn 27600) ZRH (Paul Denton). Image: 911970.

Belair aircraft slide show:

Airlines and airline brands we lost in 2017

Note – Our list also includes name changes and ownership changes.

Adria Swizterland (Darwin Airline) – Ceased operations on November 28, 2017 and was declared to be insolvent on December 12, 2017 and was liquidated.

Darwin Airline is now operating as Adria Switzerland

Copyright Photo Above: Adria Switzerland SAAB 2000 HB-IYD (msn 059) (Etihad Regional colors) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 939524.

Aeropostal (Alas de Venezuela) – The long-time airline of Venezuela ceased all operations on September 24, 2017 due to the on-going financial situation in the country.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2010

Above Copyright Photo: Aeropostal (Venezuela) McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 YV137T (msn 47771) CCS (Orlando Jose Suarez). Image: 905671.

Air Carnival – The short-lived Indian carrier shut its doors and ceased operations with its single ATR 72-500 on April 5, 2017.

Air Carnival (India) ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) M-IBAI (VT-CMA) (msn 767) (Air Carnival). Image: 940401.

Above Photo: Air Carnival (India) ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) M-IBAI (VT-CMA) (msn 767) (Air Carnival). Image: 940401.

Air Costa – The Indian airline suspended operations on February 28, 2017.

Photo Above: Air Costa.

Air India Regional – Reverted back to its original name of Alliance Air in March 2017. The airline continues operations under the Alliance Air (Air India) brand.

Second ATR 72-600 for Air India Regional

Above Copyright Photo: Air India Regional ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-600) F-WWEZ (VT-AIT) (msn 1226) TLS (Olivier Gregoire). Image: (26253.

Airberlin (Air Berlin) – AB filed for insolvency on August 15, 2017 and ceased all operations on October 27, 2017 after Etihad Airways announced it would no longer financially support the carrier. AB was the second largest scheduled passenger airline in Germany.

Airberlin (airberlin.com) Airbus A330-322 D-AERQ (msn 127) JFK (Ken Petersen). Image: 900466.

Above Copyright Photo: Airberlin (airberlin.com) Airbus A330-322 D-AERQ (msn 127) JFK (Ken Petersen). Image: 900466.

Belair (Airberlin) – Belair, like Airberlin, shut down and ceased all operations on October 28, 2017.

Leased from Airberlin on May 12, 2017

Above Copyright Photo: Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Belair Airlines) Airbus A321-211 WL HB-JOV (msn 6629) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 938111.

Bluebird Cargo – Became Bluebird Nordic in 2017 as a brand and name change only.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2001

Above Copyright Photo: Bluebird Cargo Boeing 737-36E (F) TF-BBF (msn 25264) CDG (Christian Volpati). Image: 913697.

Borajet Airlines – Suspended operations on April 24, 2017. The carrier has hopes to return in 2018 but its aircraft were seized.

Borajet Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) TC-YAU (msn 19000088) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 935050.

Above Copyright Photo: Borajet Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) TC-YAU (msn 19000088) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 935050.

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) – The second version using the famous name had its AOC cancelled. The last revenue flight was operated on September 14, 2017 although one Boeing 737-800 (N277EA) operated by Swift Air still carries Eastern titles.

Named "Spirit of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker"

Above Copyright Photo: Eastern Air Lines (2nd) Boeing 737-8AL WL N276EA (msn 35070) MIA (Jay Selman). Image: 403415.

Etihad Regional (Darwin Airline) – Became Adria Swizterland in July 2017 when Etihad Airways withdrew its financial support.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2014

Above Copyright Photo: Etihad Regional-Darwin Airline ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) HB-ACB (msn 662) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 922532.

Florida West International Airways (2nd) – The AOC was cancelled. Operations ended on February 28, 2017 as parent Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings decided to consolidate operations under the ATI banner.

Florida West International Airways (2nd) Boeing 767-346F ER N422LA (msn 35818) MIA (Brian McDonough). Image: 905972.

Above Copyright Photo: Florida West International Airways (2nd) Boeing 767-346F ER N422LA (msn 35818) MIA (Brian McDonough). Image: 905972.

Flugfelag Islands – Air Iceland – Became Air Iceland Connect on May 24, 2017 (name change).

Flugfelag Islands-Air Iceland de Havilland Canada DHC-8-202 Dash 8 (Q200) TF-JMK (msn 446) AEY (Wingnut). Image: 925729.

Above Copyright Photo: Flugfelag Islands-Air Iceland de Havilland Canada DHC-8-202 Dash 8 (Q200) TF-JMK (msn 446) AEY (Wingnut). Image: 925729.

Flybe (Loganair) – The two airlines cancelled their agreement and Loganair reverted back to its own Loganair brand on August 31, 2017. On September 1, 2017 Loganair signed a code share agreement with British Airways.

Flybe-Loganair de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter G-BVVK (msn 666) BRR (Robbie Shaw). Image: 907742.

Above Copyright Photo: Flybe-Loganair de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter G-BVVK (msn 666) BRR (Robbie Shaw). Image: 907742.

GLO AIrlines – Filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on April 24, 2017 and ceased operations on July 15, 2017.

GLO Airlines (flyGLO.com) (Corporate Flight Management) SAAB 340B N9CJ (msn 224) LIT (Jason Hamm). Image: 938894.

Above Copyright Photo: GLO Airlines (flyGLO.com) (Corporate Flight Management) SAAB 340B N9CJ (msn 224) LIT (Jason Hamm). Image: 938894.

InselAir (Aruba) – InselAir Aruba was declared bankrupt on July 7, 2017 after ceasing operations on June 7, 2017. However InselAir (Curacao) reorganized and downsized and continues to operate in the ABC Islands.

InselAir (Aruba) McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) P4-MDI (msn 49847) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 104316.

Above Copyright Photo: InselAir (Aruba) McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) P4-MDI (msn 49847) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 104316.

Island Air – The long-time inter-island airline in Hawaii shut down operations on November 10, 2017. The assets are being sold to Hawaiian Airlines for its ‘Ohana by Hawaiian division.

Island Air (Hawaii) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N682WP (msn 4546) HNL (Ivan K. Nishimura). Image: 939613.

Above Copyright Photo: Island Air (Hawaii) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N682WP (msn 4546) HNL (Ivan K. Nishimura). Image: 939613.

Kan Air – The regional carrier in Thailand suspended operations on April 21, 2017.

Photo Above: Kan Air.

LGW (Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter) (Airberlin) – As part of the Airberlin Group, LGW also ceased operations on October 27, 2017. However it has now been purchased by the Lufthansa Group and will continue to operate as a company under the Eurowings brand.

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (LGW) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) D-ABQB (msn 4226) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 928479.

Above Copyright Photo: Airberlin (airberlin.com) (LGW) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) D-ABQB (msn 4226) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 928479.

Mega Maldives Airlines – The airline suspended operations on May 2, 2017. It hopes to restructure.

Mega Maldives' first Boeing 737-800, leased from Travel Service on September 24, 2016

Above Copyright Photo: Mega Maldives Airlines (Mega Global Air) (Travel Service Airlines) Boeing 737-86N SSWL OK-TVT (msn 39394) HKG (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 935872.

Monarch Airlines – The long-time British carrier shut down all operations on October 2, 2017.

Summer lease for crew familiarization for upcoming 737 MAX 8s

Above Copyright Photo: Monarch Airlines Boeing 737-82R WL TC-AAY (G-ZBAV) (msn 40874) BHX (Ian Bowley). Image: 937834.

Naft Airlines – Became Karun Airlines in September 2017 (name change).

Naft Airlines Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 EP-MIS (msn 11503) DXB (Paul Denton). Image: 940409.

Above Copyright Photo: Naft Airlines Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 EP-MIS (msn 11503) DXB (Paul Denton). Image: 940409.

Niki Luftfahrt (flyniki) – As part of the Airberlin Group, the Austrian carrier suspended operations on December 13, 2017. However the airline has been acquired by the IAG and will be operating again under Vueling.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2005

Above Copyright Photo: Niki Luftfahrt (flyNiki.com) Embraer ERJ 190-100LR OE-IXG (msn 19000435) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 921621.

Starbow Airlines – Suspended operations on November 25, 2017 after the ATR 72-500 accident. The airline hopes to restore operations.

Starbow Airlines BAe 146-300 9G-SBB (msn E3123) SEN (Keith Burton). Image: 908647.

Above Copyright Photo: Starbow Airlines BAe 146-300 9G-SBB (msn E3123) SEN (Keith Burton). Image: 908647.

Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium) – Operated its last flight on October 27, 2017.

Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium) Airbus A320-214 OO-TCH (msn 1929) AMS (Tony Storck). Image: 935351.

Above Copyright Photo: Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium) Airbus A320-214 OO-TCH (msn 1929) AMS (Tony Storck). Image: 935351.

Thomson Airways – Officially became TUI Airways (UK) on October 1, 2017 (name change).

Thomson Airways Boeing 737-8K5 SSWL G-FDZW (msn 37254) TFS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 927490.

Above Copyright Photo: Thomson Airways Boeing 737-8K5 SSWL G-FDZW (msn 37254) TFS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 927490.

Tigerair (Singapore) – The Tigerair of Singapore was merged into Scoot on July 25, 2017.

Tigerair (Singapore) Airbus A320-232 WL 9V-TRL (msn 5721) PEN (Rob Finlayson). Image: 925825.

Above Copyright Photo: Tigerair (Singapore) Airbus A320-232 WL 9V-TRL (msn 5721) PEN (Rob Finlayson). Image: 925825.

VECA Airlines – Suspended operations on January 16, 2017.

VECA Airlines of El Salvador suspends operations

Above Copyright Photo: VECA Airlines Airbus A319-132 N1821V (msn 2383) SJO (Andres Meneses). Image: 929694.

VIM Airlines (VIM Avia) – Suspended all operations on October 15, 2017. The AOC was cancelled on November 4, 2017.

New Boeing 777 operator, delivered March 14, 2016, ex N77728/9M-MRF

Above Copyright Photo: VIM Airlines (VIM Avia) Boeing 777-2H6 ER VP-BVA (msn 28413) DME (OSDU). Image: 933003.

Welcome Air – The last revenue flight was operated on December 26, 2017.

Welcome Air Dornier 328-110 OE-GBB (msn 3078) CFU (Antony J. Best). Image: 928724.

Above Copyright Photo: Welcome Air Dornier 328-110 OE-GBB (msn 3078) CFU (Antony J. Best). Image: 928724.

Yangtze River Express – Became Suparna Airlines on July 7, 2017 (name change).

Yangtze River Express Boeing 747-481 (BCF) B-2432 (msn 28283) ANC (Michael B. Ing). Image: 928002.

Above Copyright Photo: Yangtze River Express Boeing 747-481 (BCF) B-2432 (msn 28283) ANC (Michael B. Ing). Image: 928002.

Yemenia (Yemen Airways) – The flag carrier of war-weary Yemen suspended operations on November 6, 2017 due to the on-going civil war and military air strikes. The carrier hopes to operate some flights in the future, war conditions permitting.

Yemenia (Yemen Airways) Airbus A330-243 7O-ADT (msn 632) FRA (Pascal Simon). Image: 904599.

Above Copyright Photo: Yemenia (Yemen Airways) Airbus A330-243 7O-ADT (msn 632) FRA (Pascal Simon). Image: 904599.

With the Airberlin closure, Belair also closes its doors, will be liquidated

Leased from Airberlin on May 12, 2017, Belair logo

Belair Airlines, as a subsidiary of Airberlin, was operating under the Airberlin brand until March 31, 2017.

Airberlin acquired 49% of the shares of Belair in 2007 and has fully owned Belair since October 2009.

During the 2017 summer season, Belair has been flying for Niki.

With the closure of Airberlin, Belair also has ceased operations as of October 28, 2017.

The airline issued this short statement on their website:

“Airberlin has permanently discontinued its operations. We would like to take the opportunity to thank you and bye-bye”.

Belair’s assets will now be liquidated.

Belair offered this guidance to its customers:

Questions and answers about the current situation at airberlin

  • Will flight operations be continued by airberlin/NIKI?

As far as we are currently aware, flight operations under the IATA airline code AB will no longer be possible during the insolvency proceedings, at the latest from October 28th 2017. NIKI flights are not affected and will be continued.

  • My flight will no longer be operated. Will I get my money back?

For passengers who are affected by a flight cancellation, the following applies: If the booking was made before August 15th 2017, reimbursement is not possible. Passengers affected may file their claim for the insolvency schedule after the opening of the insolvency proceedings. For tickets purchased after August 15th 2017, we will reimburse the purchase price if the flight will no longer be operated. Rebooking to another airline is not permitted

  •    Is NIKI also insolvent?

No, the status published on August 15th 2017 applies. NIKI is not insolvent. It is not currently intended for NIKI to file for insolvency. Flight operations will continue as planned.

  • Do airberlin and NIKI still accept new bookings?

Yes, airberlin and NIKI flights can still be booked through our established booking and distribution channels. All fares are still valid.
Payments for flights operating after November 1st 2017 are secured by a trustee. In case these flights are not operating against expectations, affected passengers will receive a ticket refund. This only applies for bookings from August 15th 2017 onwards.

  • How long in advance can I book flights?

The entire schedule published by airberlin and NIKI can currently still be booked. As far as we are currently aware, flights with the IATA airline code AB will no longer be operated from October 28th 2017.

  • Will I continue to receive topbonus miles for my flights?

topbonus, airberlin’s frequent flyer programme, submitted an application for insolvency on August 25th2017. Nevertheless, the topbonus programme continues to exist. The status benefits for topbonus members remain valid. topbonus mileage credit and the redemption of miles is once again active. The conditions for collecting and redeeming miles as of September 20th 2017 as well as the list of active partners can be found on the topbonus website.

  • Do the airberlin/NIKI products and services remain the same?

Yes, the existing airberlin and NIKI services and products remain the same.

  • Is my voucher still valid and if yes until when?

Vouchers cannot be redeemed anymore. Due to insolvency regulations, the utilization of vouchers had to be terminated. Affected passengers have the opportunity to file the claim arising from the unusable voucher for the insolvency schedule after the opening of the insolvency proceedings. We will advise about the formal proceedings at a later stage separately. Tickets that have already been booked against vouchers remain valid.

  • Can I get a cash payout for my voucher?

No, see above.

  • If my tickets are cancelled, will I be reimbursed the applicable fees and taxes?

No. This is not possible due to insolvency regulations. Affected passengers have the opportunity to file the claim for the insolvency schedule after the opening of the insolvency proceedings. Questions regarding the reimbursement of taxes and fees collected after August 15th 2017 must be submitted via the BSPlink.

  • Can tickets that have already been issued be rebooked?

The tariff conditions, valid at the time of ticket issuance, still apply to rebooking. Any issued ticket may be rebooked on the basis of the applicable tariff conditions, provided these allow changes. Any applicable fees must be paid by the customer.

  • Am I still entitled to claims for damages/to receive compensation, e.g. for delays or flight cancelations?

For departures before the filing for insolvency unfortunately no compensations will currently be paid. This is not possible due to insolvency regulations. Affected passengers have the opportunity to file the claim for the insolvency schedule after the opening of the insolvency proceedings. In this case affected passengers automatically receive an official form with further information.

For departures after the filing for insolvency please refer to our online claim form provided by our Guest Relations Team using the following link: http://www.airberlin.com/complaint. Our Guest Relations Team will handle your request and will contact you directly. We kindly ask for your understanding that due to the current situation the processing time might take longer.

  • I booked a package holiday for 2018 and my flights are with airberlin – will there be any problems?

As far as we are currently aware, flight operations under the IATA airline code AB will no longer be possible during the insolvency proceedings, at the latest from October 28th. Please contact your tour operator if you have any further questions.

  • Will tickets from partner airlines be accepted? Will airberlin tickets for flights operated by partner airlines be valid?

If you would like to verify the status of your ticket, please contact the respective partner airline.

Copyright Photo: Airberlin (airberlin.com) – Operated by Belair Airlines Airbus A321-211 WL HB-JOV (msn 6629) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 938931.