Bern Airport faces a “short-term” loss of scheduled flights as Swiss regional carrier SkyWork Airlines ceases operations and states it will file for insolvency due to “economic reasons.”
The Bern Airport-based carrier flew to 19 European destinations and was one of two airlines operating from the airport in Switzerland.
SkyWork Airlines was known to have been struggling financially since last year, when it was temporarily grounded and told by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) that it would terminate the airline’s operating licence unless it provided sufficient funds to operate its winter schedule.
While the airline was able to provide proof of financing last year that enabled it to restart operations in November, it has been unable to turn things around and declared bankruptcy after negotiations with a potential partner failed and its economic conditions could no longer guarantee the continuation of the operation. The airline ceased all operations on 29 August and voluntarily returned the operating licence to FOCA.
The halt of operations has impacted 11,000 passengers with bookings. An administrator has yet to be formally announced.
The airline was reportedly responsible for approximately 60% of all flights out of Bern Airport and in a statement the airport said it noted “with regret” the cessation of operations of SkyWork Airlines.
The airport stressed that: “The existence of the airport is not directly threatened,” and added that measures have been prepared.
In a statement the airport said the cessation of operations of SkyWork Airlines would lead to a short-term loss of schedule flights and is expected to have a significant impact to revenue, however the airport said it is in talks with airlines.
“With a broad route network and increasing passenger numbers, the air traffic to and from Bern has steadily developed in recent years,” it said in the statement, adding that SkyWork Airlines had made “a significant contribution” to the achievement.
The airport added that the last few years have demonstrated a demand for scheduled and charter routes and that it has intensified efforts to find an airline to fulfil the most popular destinations in the route network to and from Bern.
Summer flight services from Helvetic Airways, the remaining airline serving Bern airport, will remain unchanged, it explained.