Narrow escape: Germania finds answer to financial woes
Berlin-based airline Germania grazes the red. On January 8, 2018, the company announced it was facing financial difficulties and actively looking for investors. Two days later it appears that the airline might have found its savior, and stays in the skies… for now.
The airline needed €20 million at the end of 2018 to continue its operations, according to German aviation media AeroTelegraph. The prospect of buyout of Germania and its two subsidiaries, charter airline Bulgarian Eagle and Swiss airline Germania Flug, was not ruled out.
The management team of Germania blames its struggles on changes within the airline industry, and on “unforeseeable events” such as higher fuel prices and weak currency exchange rate. In an official statement, released on January 8, the airline also admits encountering delays in acquiring and phasing new aircraft (seven in 2018) as well as providing maintenance to its existing fleet. “We are focusing on the central question of how we can continue to be effective in a market environment dominated by airlines under larger corporate structures,” the statement read, adding that operations continued unaffected as the airline was looking into options to solve its financial woes.
Germania might have found salvation. German travel media FVW reports on January 10, 2019, that the airline has found an investor that will keep it airborne. In a letter to employees, CEO Karsten Balke announced that “our discussions with potential investors who want to support us financially are positive”. The investor(s) remained unnamed. “The serious interest of the investors makes us optimistic that we can continue to exist as an independent airline”.
2018 was a year of incredible growth and opportunities for Germania. Using Air Berlin bankruptcy to its advantage, the airline announced it would open over 50 routes and increase its capacity by 39% during summer 2018. But the same challenges that led to the bankruptcy of Primera Air, Small Planet, VLM, and Skywork in less than a year almost got the better of the German airline too.
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