Nordica has taken over operations for Luxair’s Saarbrücken-Berlin route after previous operator Adria filed for bankruptcy.
Luxair initially mobilised its own aircraft to operate some of the three daily weekday flights on the route from 24 September after the Slovenian flag carrier announced a flight suspension due to liquidity issues.
“We had to improvise,” Luxair’s Joe Schroeder told Delano on Wednesday, adding: “We tried to optimise our own flights.” Some flights were, however, cancelled, Schroeder said. He didn’t give a precise figure as to how many passengers were impacted but said the three flights per day carried around 230 passengers.
A week later, on 30 September, Adria announced it had filed for receivership. This time Luxair was prepared and had contracted Estonian flag carrier Nordica to begin operating the route from Sunday. The spokesman said this measure was a first step and the medium-term solution was not yet known.
According to Reuters, Slovenia sold Adria to 4K Invest in 2016, after which the company sold its planes and flew on leased aircraft, but it continued to lose money. The Slovenian government reportedly rejected a bailout, saying the debt was higher than first thought. TV Slovenia estimated its debts at around €90m.
Reuters also wrote that Adria was one in a long line of small European airlines to run into financial trouble “amid industry overcapacity, cut-throat competition and high fuel prices”.
Estonian public broadcaster ERR, meanwhile, reported on Tuesday that the bankruptcy could impact Nordica, which had a leasing agreement with Adria. It wrote that Adria owed Nordica €7.8m.