All Skyways planes are grounded. Photo: Jonatan Björck/Sveriges Radio.

Skyways and City Airlines file for bankruptcy

Swedish regional airline Skyways Express AB and its daughter company City Airline AB have been placed into administration. The airline, which is based in Linköping, announced on Tuesday that it has been forced to stop all payments, and as a consequence all flights have been cancelled with immediate effect. Both companies have applied for bankruptcy.

Skyways, which flies to 20 destinations in Sweden and Europe said in a statement;

"The owners of the company have decided not to fund the company any longer and, therefore, the Board of Directors was forced to decide to stop all payments and to stop all flights," says Mikael Wångdahl, Chief Executive for Skyways and City Airline.

“It feels very sad for the Company and for our passengers that will be immediately affected. It is also very sad for the personnel also at risk to lose their jobs. We have come far in turning the company around, but after the bankruptcy of Cimber it became almost impossible to continue,” he said.

Skyways was established in 1987 and was previously known as Avia. Last year the company merged with Gothenburg-based airline City Airline as Skyways. It also bought Danish Cimber Sterling.

"We are working now fully to take care of around 12,000 customers who have booked with Skyways in recent months," says Anders Lindström, press spokesperson at Scandinavian Airline SAS, to news agency TT.

Passengers who today would have flown from Gothenburg's Landvetter airport to Zurich and Manchester with Skyways will now fly via Copenhagen.

"There are going to be delays but everyone will get to their destinations today," Lindström said.

SAS was an earlier shareholder in Skyways but sold its last shares in the company lasy September.

Passengers with regular flight tickets with Skyways or City Airlines will apparently find it difficult to get their money back. The travel guarantee does not cover regular tickets but those who have booked through charter companies on package holidays will find it easier to receive reimbursement. 

Skyways pilots were ordered on Monday evening to fly home the company's planes to Gothenburg.

"I flew last night and landed at 10 pm at Landvetter. Then there was nothing strange about it but later I heard from a colleague of mine in Lyon. He was going to sleep but was told to fly the plane back to Sweden. Then I understood that something was happening," says Petter Hulgaard, from the Skyways section of the Swedish Pilot Association to news agency TT.

Peter Hulgaard spoke of a tough climate for pilots throughout Europe.

"It is really bad in the whole of Europe. All airline companies have it tough. Many staff are unhappy. The decision comes three days before our next paycheck and we are all wondering what happens next, for example with holiday days," says Hulgaard.

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