In 2019, there were 23 airlines across the world that ceased operation and stopped flying in the sky because of various reasons, such as financial issues and lack of demand. As the year ends, let us take a look at each of them and recognise their contributions to the aviation industry.

1. Germania

  • Fleet Size: 36 (Airbus A319, A321, Boeing 737-700)
  • Base Airport: Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
  • Destinations: 42
  • Start Operation: September 5th 1978
  • Ceased Operation: February 5th 2019
  • Age: 40 years 5 months

Germania was a privately owned German airline with its headquarters in Berlin. It began by operating charter flights in 1978, then moved on to become a scheduled carrier. Germania operated to destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East from its German bases. It carried 2.5 million passengers in 2009 and had around 850 employees as of 2014. After a monetary windfall of over €15 million, the airline declared bankruptcy on February 4th 2019 and ceased operations on February 5th 2019 without any notice in advance.

Germania Airbus A320neo

2. California Pacific

  • Fleet Size: 4 (Embraer ERJ-145)
  • Base Airport: McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD)
  • Destinations: 8
  • Start Operation: November 1st 2018
  • Ceased Operation: January 17th 2019
  • Age: 2 months 16 days

California Pacific Airlines was an American regional airline that was headquartered on the grounds of McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California. On December 28th 2018 California Pacific Air announced that they were suspending operations in California. In January 2019 the airline ceased all operations and is currently undergoing restructuring, though no timeline has been given by the company or its business partners.

California Pacific Airlines

3. Flybmi

  • Fleet Size: 17 (Embraer ERJ-135, ERJ-145)
  • Base Airport: Aberdeen, Brussels, Bristol, East Midlands, Newcastle and Munich
  • Destinations: 23
  • Start Operation: August 1987
  • Ceased Operation: February 16th, 2019
  • Age: 31 years 6 months

Flybmi was a British regional airline that operated scheduled passenger services across the UK and Europe. The head office of the airline was at East Midlands Airport in North West Leicestershire. The airline was a former subsidiary of British Midland International (BMI), which was purchased from Lufthansa by International Airlines Group (IAG) in 2012.

Flybmi

4. Insel Air

  • Fleet Size: 3 (Fokker 50)
  • Base Airport: Hato International Airport (CUR)
  • Destinations: 5
  • Start Operation: 2006
  • Ceased Operation: February 16th 2019
  • Age: 13 years

Insel Air was a Dutch Caribbean carrier that served as the national airline of Curaçao. It was headquartered in Maduro Plaza, Willemstad. Insel Air served destinations throughout the Caribbean and South America. The inability to convert bolívars to US dollars resulted in the airline ceasing operations of its Aruban subsidiary as of June 7th 2017; this affected the rest of the airlines’ operations, with a major downsizing of fleet and destinations.

Insel Air

5. Asian Express Airline

  • Fleet Size: 3 (Airbus A320, Avro RJ100)
  • Base Airport: Dushanbe International Airport (DYU)
  • Destinations: 5
  • Start Operation: 2011
  • Ceased Operation: January 2019
  • Age: 8 years

Asian Express Airline was a Tajikistani airline based in Dushanbe. It operated both domestic and international services from Dushanbe International Airport. As of August 2015 all of its international routes were flights solely to and from airports in Russia.

Asian Express Airline

6. WOW Air

  • Fleet Size: 10 (Airbus A321, A321neo)
  • Base Airport: Keflavík International Airport (KEF)
  • Destinations: 27
  • Start Operation: May 31st 2012
  • Ceased Operation: March 28th 2019
  • Age: 6 years 10 months

WOW air was an Icelandic ultra low-cost carrier founded in 2011 that operated services between Iceland, Europe, Asia and North America. The airline was headquartered in Reykjavík and based at Keflavík International Airport. WOW air had been working hard for many months to financially stabilise themselves, however, talks with investment partners crumbled. After failing to financially recover itself, WOW air announced the cease of operations completely.

WOW Air

7. Aerolíneas de Antioquia

  • Fleet Size: 13 (Dornier 328-100, BAe Jetstream 32)
  • Base Airport: Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport (EOH)
  • Destinations: 21
  • Start Operation: 1987
  • Ceased Operation: March 29th 2019
  • Age: 32 years

Aerolínea de Antioquia was a regional airline headquartered at the Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellín, Colombia. At its peak, the airline operated scheduled domestic services from Medellín to over 20 destinations.

Aerolíneas de Antioquia

8. Fly Jamaica Airways

  • Fleet Size: 1 (Boeing 767-300ER)
  • Base Airport: Norman Manley International Airport (KIN)
  • Destinations: 4
  • Start Operation: February 14th 2013
  • Ceased Operation: March 31st 2019
  • Age: 6 years 1 month 17 days

Fly Jamaica Airways was a Jamaican airline headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica. The airline mainly offered routes to North America. The airline had been trying to recover after one of its aircraft crashed at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport in November 2018.

Fly Jamaica Airways

9. Air Philip

  • Fleet Size: 2 (Embraer ERJ-145EP)
  • Base Airport: Muan International Airport (MWX)
  • Destinations: 6
  • Start Operation: June 30th 2018
  • Ceased Operation: March 13th 2019
  • Age: 8 months 13 days

Air Philip was a short-lived South Korean airline. It flew on domestic as well as international routes to Vladivostok, Russia and Okinawa, Japan. The main office was in Muan County while the company governor was in Seoul.

Air Philip

10. Jet Airways

  • Fleet Size: 124 (Airbus A330-200/-300, ATR 72-500/-600, Boeing 737-700/-800/-900/-900ER/MAX 8, 777-300ER)
  • Base Airport: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM)
  • Destinations: 57
  • Start Operation: May 5th 1993
  • Ceased Operation: April 17th 2019
  • Age: 25 years 11 months 12 days

Jet Airways is a grounded Indian international airline based in Mumbai, India. From the third quarter of 2010 onwards, Jet Airways was the largest commercial passenger airline in India, with a passenger market share of 22.6%. With its competitors, mainly SpiceJet and IndiGo, lowering ticket fares in the following years it was forced to follow suit, hurting overall performance and resulting in steep financial losses. It dropped to second place behind IndiGo in October 2017, with a passenger market share of 17.8%. The downward slide continued unabated and, as of July 2019, the company is undergoing insolvency proceedings under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Jet Airways ceases operations
Jet Airways

11. Avianca Brasil

  • Fleet Size: 10 (Airbus A318, A319, Fokker 100)
  • Base Airport: São Paulo–Congonhas Airport (CGH)
  • Destinations: 38
  • Start Operation: 1998
  • Ceased Operation: June 24th 2019
  • Age: 20 years

Avianca Brasil was a Brazilian airline based in Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil. According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), which cancelled its operation, prior to cessation of operations, from January to December 2018 Avianca Brasil had 13.4 % of the domestic and 7.3 % of the international market share in terms of passengers per kilometer flown, it was the fourth-largest airline, both in domestic and international traffic in Brazil.

IATA Suspends Avianca Brasil
Avianca Brasil

12. Avianca Argentina

  • Fleet Size: 2 (ATR 72-600)
  • Base Airport: Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport (AEP)
  • Destinations: 2
  • Start Operation: November 21st 2017
  • Ceased Operation: June 7th 2019
  • Age: 1 year 7 months 17days

Avianca Argentina was an Argentine airline headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with its operational hub at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in the city. The airline operated commercially under the Avianca brand through a license agreement, however it was independent of the Avianca Holdings group of Latin American airlines.

Avianca

13. Al Naser Wings Airlines

  • Fleet Size: 1 (Boeing 737-400)
  • Base Airport: Baghdad International Airport (BGW)
  • Destinations: 12
  • Start Operation: 2009
  • Ceased Operation: April 16th 2019
  • Age: 10 years

Al Naser Wings Airlines was a small Iraqi airline based in Karrada, Baghdad, Iraq. The airline operated scheduled domestic flights to places in the Middle East, mostly to Damascus, Syria. On February 24th Al Naser Wings filed for bankruptcy, as of on April 16th 2019 the airline ceased all flight operations.

Al Naser Wings Airlines

14. Aigle Azur

  • Fleet Size: 11 (Airbus A319, A320, A330-200)
  • Base Airport: Paris Orly Airport (ORY)
  • Destinations: 21
  • Start Operation: 1946
  • Ceased Operation: September 6th 2019
  • Age: 73 years

Aigle Azur was a French airline based and headquartered at Paris Orly Airport. The airline operated scheduled flights from France to 21 destinations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with a fleet of Airbus A320 family and A330 aircraft. The airline filed for bankruptcy and was placed in receivership on September 2nd 2019. Takeover bids were received, but none proved viable and the airline was liquidated by the court on September 27th 2019.

Aigle Azur

15. XL Airways

  • Fleet Size: 4 (Airbus A330-200/-300)
  • Base Airport: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Destinations: 17
  • Start Operation: December 22nd 1995
  • Ceased Operation: September 23rd 2019
  • Age: 23 years 9 months 1 day

XL Airways was a French airline with its head offices on the grounds of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. It operated scheduled flights mainly to long-haul destinations in Africa, the Middle East, the United States and the Caribbean. as well as charter flights to medium-haul destinations in the Mediterranean, mostly out of Charles de Gaulle Airport. On September 19th 2019 XL Airways announced the suspension of all flights as of September 23rd. Ticket sales ceased immediately and the company was placed under legal receivership, then subsequently wound up.

XL Airways Stops Selling Tickets
XL Airways

16. Thomas Cook Airlines

  • Fleet Size: 34 (Airbus A321, A330-200)
  • Base Airport: Manchester Airport (MAN) and Gatwick Airport (LGW)
  • Destinations: 82
  • Start Operation: March 27th 2000
  • Ceased Operation: September 23rd 2019
  • Age: 9 years 5 months 27 days

Thomas Cook Airlines was a British charter and scheduled airline headquartered in Manchester, England. It was founded in 2007, from the merger of Thomas Cook Group and MyTravel Group, and was part of the Thomas Cook Group Airlines. It served leisure destinations worldwide from its main bases at Manchester Airport and Gatwick Airport, on a scheduled and charter basis. It also operated services from eight other bases around the United Kingdom. Thomas Cook Group plc, and all UK entities including Thomas Cook Airlines, entered compulsory liquidation on September 23rd 2019.

Thomas Cook Ceases Operations
Thomas Cook

17. Adria Airways

  • Fleet Size: 20 (Airbus A319, Bombardier CRJ700ER, CRJ900LR, Saab 2000)
  • Base Airport: Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU)
  • Destinations: 23
  • Start Operation: December 1961
  • Ceased Operation: September 30th 2019
  • Age: 57 years 9 months

Adria Airways was the flag carrier of Slovenia, operating scheduled and charter services to European destinations. The company’s head office was at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport in Zgornji Brnik, Cerklje na Gorenjskem, near Ljubljana. On September 30th 2019 the airline declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations.

Adria Airways Files for Bankruptcy
Adria Airways

18. Peruvian Airlines

  • Fleet Size: 8 (Boeing 737-400/-500, McDonnell Douglas DC-8-73)
  • Base Airport: Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM)
  • Destinations: 10
  • Start Operation: October 29th 2009
  • Ceased Operation: October 2nd 2019
  • Age: 9 years 11 months 3 days

Peruvian Airlines was a Peruvian airline based in Lima. The airline offered primarily domestic flights out of its main base at Jorge Chávez International Airport. On October 2nd 2019 the airline ceased all operations due to liquidity issues.

Peruvian Airlines

19. New Gen Airways

  • Fleet Size: 11 (Boeing 737-400/-800)
  • Base Airport: Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
  • Destinations: 37
  • Start Operation: 2014
  • Ceased Operation: October 2019
  • Age: 5 years

New Gen Airways was a Thai international airline that concentrated on flights from Thailand to China. It operated both scheduled and charter services from 6 main Thailand hubs, Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport, U-Tapao International Airport, Krabi International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Surat Thani International Airport and Nakhon Ratchasima Airport in the southern cities of Krabi, Phuket and Surat Thani, to a total of 30 destinations in China. In October the airline forfeited its whole fleet, thus ceasing all operations.

New Gen Airways

20. Via Airlines

  • Fleet Size: 6 (Embraer ERJ-145)
  • Base Airport: Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Destinations: 12
  • Start Operation: December 2014
  • Ceased Operation: October 2019
  • Age: 4 years 10 months

Via Airlines was a US domestic regional airline offering scheduled services across the United States. The airline originally focused on scheduled Essential Air Service from Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley, West Virginia, Parkersburg/Marietta in Parkersburg, West Virginia to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, but has since withdrawn from servicing any areas and maintained only their charter services. In October 2019, the airline declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations.

Via Airlines

21. TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar

  • Fleet Size: 20 (Boeing 727, 737, British Aerospace 146, CASA C212, Convair CV-580, Douglas C-47, Fokker F27, Xian MA60)
  • Base Airport: El Alto International Airport (LPB)
  • Destinations: 2
  • Start Operation: June 15th 1945
  • Ceased Operation: September 23rd 2019
  • Age: 74 years 3 months 8 days

TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar was an airline based in La Paz, Bolivia. It was owned by the Bolivian Air Force and was established to offer flights to rural communities, where commercial airlines could not operate profitably. It also operated in competition with commercial airlines on many of Bolivia’s trunk domestic routes.

TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar

22. Taron-Avia

  • Fleet Size: 3 (Boeing 737-500)
  • Base Airport: Shirak International Airport (LWN)
  • Destinations: 5
  • Start Operation: 2017
  • Ceased Operation: November 2019
  • Age: 2 years

Taron-Avia was an Armenian airline headquartered in Yerevan. The airline had focused its efforts on the transfer of Georgian citizens to and from Russia via Armenia, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order on suspending Russian flights to Georgia. In November 2019, the Armenian aviation authorities revoked the airlines’ operational license; forcing them to suspend all operations after inspections turned out insufficient outcomes.

Taron-Avia

23. Astra Airlines

  • Fleet Size: 4 (ATR 42-300, 72-200, BAe 146-300)
  • Base Airport: Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG)
  • Destinations: 37
  • Start Operation: July 5th 2008
  • Ceased Operation: November 14th 2019
  • Age: 11 years 4 months 9 days

Astra Airlines was a Greek regional airline founded by Ioannis Zlatanis, founder of Interaviator Ltd, and Anastasios Zirinis, former CEO of Olympic Aviation. It launched operations on July 5th 2008 flying from Thessaloniki to Rhodes. On November 9th 2019 it was reported that Astra Airlines faced severe financial difficulties and was searching for an investor to maintain its current operations. On November 2019 14th IATA announced that it had suspended the airline, Greek travel agents were warned to stop selling tickets on the airline with immediate effect.

Astra Airlines
BoardingArea