The entire airline industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the vitally necessary travel bans. Regional airlines have been affected even more.
This week, two important regional airlines in the world ceased all operations and filed for bankruptcy protection. They are RavnAir Group, the largest regional carrier in Alaska, and BRA Braathens Regional Airlines, the largest regional carrier in Sweden.
RavnAir Group announced that due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the unprecedented loss of 90% of passenger revenue at all three of its airlines (RavnAir Alaska, PenAir and RavnAir Connect), it must for the time being:
• Park all seventy-two (72) of its aircraft
• Stop all operations
• Temporarily lay off all remaining staff, until the company is in a position to cover the costs of rehiring, resuming flights and operating to the many communities it serves
Because of the company’s critical need for additional funding, Ravn has also filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Due to the nature of the Chapter 11 filing, the airline is unable to issue any refunds at this time.
For those of you who were scheduled to fly this week or in the weeks ahead, please accept my deepest apologies for this sudden, but vitally necessary, decision to cancel all flights until further notice.Dave Pflieger, RavnAir Group CEO
RavnAir Group operates a wide mixture of small regional aircraft, including the following: Havilland DHC-8-100, Beechcraft B1900C, Piper PA31, Cessna 207, Cessna 208 and Saab 2000. Its subsidiary airlines fly to dozens of small airports across Alaska.
BRA Braathens Regional Airlines
Swedish airline BRA is now applying for restructuring to protect the company from bankruptcy. A reconstruction creates room for controlled planning for a future operation. BRA’s current plan is to gradually restart the company, and air traffic, after the summer, as the conditions for operating flights improve.
On 19th March, the airline announced that traffic was being reduced to a minimum and that all personnel was being laid off.
On 1st April, the company announced that all air traffic would be paused until 31st May (when demand for air tickets disappeared).
After careful consideration, the company’s board of directors chooses to apply for reconstruction and freeze the business completely. This will give us room to develop a long-term sustainable business plan. I deeply regret how this affects employees and customers.Geir Stormorken, BRA’s CEO.
BRA does not have an AOC and any aircraft of its own. Instead, it uses the capacity of their sister companies Braathens Regional Airways and Braathens Regional Aviation.
As of March 2020, BRA’s fleet includes: 14 ATR-72 operated by Braathens Regional Airways, 3 Fokker 50 operated by Amapola Flyg and 3 Embraer 190 operated by Braathens Regional Aviation wet-leased from German Airways.
BRA’s official website, www.flygbra.se, is not currently accessible.
Featured Image: Flickr/Nathan Coats