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: