PrivatAir Goes Out Of Business

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Well, it looks like another European airline is going out of business. As reported by Aviation24, PrivatAir announced today that they’ve filed to commence insolvency proceedings. Per a statement from the airline:

“It is with great sadness that PrivatAir SA, Switzerland, announces today that it has filed to commence insolvency proceeding in Switzerland. Likewise its subsidiary PrivatAir GmbH in Germany has also filed for insolvency today.

Over the past few weeks, a number of events have had a significant impact on the companies’ future business forecast and viability, which forced the companies to file for insolvency.”

For those of you not familiar with PrivatAir, they’re a Swiss airline that was founded in 1977 and headquartered in Meyrin. Between their Swiss and German businesses, they’ve operated a fleet of five planes, including two Boeing 737s and three Airbus A319s.

They typically leased these out to other airlines, and over the years have operated flights on behalf of Lufthansa, Swiss, and SAS. For example, I remember flying them about a decade ago between Newark and Dusseldorf.

Most recently I wrote about how this airline was supposed to once again take over Lufthansa’s flight between Pune and Frankfurt, which Lufthansa was otherwise operating with a regionally configured Airbus A319 (I also called this the world’s worst business class flight).

To be honest, I hadn’t been following along that much with PrivatAir’s struggles. The extent to which I’ve kept up with the airline is as it relates to the charters they’ve operated on behalf of other airlines.

However, it seems that they haven’t been fully utilizing their planes recently, and I imagine that was part of what led to this.

I’ll be curious to see what happens to PrivatAir’s five aircraft, given the interesting premium-heavy configurations they’re in.

The cabin of one of PrivatAir’s 737s

I’m also curious to see what this means for Lufthansa’s flight between Pune and Frankfurt. It seems like it’s either time for them to cancel the route, or to specially configure a plane to operate it.

Anyone have a better sense of what exactly went down with PrivatAir?

  1. Are the Volkswagen and Mercedes plants the drivers for the Lufthansa flight? What else is going on in Pune that would require such a thin but premium route?

  2. I hope that Lufthansa will buy the PrivatAir 737 that they’ve been operating flights with or will configure one of their own aircraft with a special configuration, but something tells me that they will stick with their plan and operate a regular A319 via Baku…..

  3. HiFly? They’ve been growing, are very flexible, and have more ability to deal with some of the volatility in the long-term charter market than smaller operators.

  4. Lufthansa really needs some smaller long-haul aircraft. They’ve got the large end covered (A380, 747-8I) but nothing smaller than the A330-300. Maybe Privatair going out of business will get Lufthansa to think more seriously about how they serve routes like Pune. They need the A321LR (they’re considering it apparently), and I’m still surprised they never ordered the Dreamliner. A plane like the 787-8 would allow them to serve markets in Asia and Africa, where they’ve been cutting routes even as other airlines grow. While they’re at it maybe they could come up with a more competitive J product for the mid- to short-end-of-long-haul flights (say 4 to 7 hours) that’s more like what BA offers on their A321s, rather than just an empty seat in the middle.

  5. Could imagine Titan taking some aircraft especially if Lufthansa would guarentee the Pune route

    One of the 737 was operating BA shorthaul out of Gatwick this summer in place of a E170 from Eastern that had disastrous reliability- a curious use of such a configured bird but guess they just wanted to have the aircraft earning revenue

  6. I think, that was a long-time plan of Lufthansa: break the contract with PrivatAir this year – – > wait a few weeks (or month) and see what happens with them (no chances for such a small player to get alternatives in that short period!) – – > and now that they have signed up for bankruptcy, LH will get those needed planes for Pune very cheap out of the insolvency masses. Or is that all just a coincidence? Hmmmm….

  7. @PW Hi Fly’s A380 doesn’t seem to have done a passenger flight since Sept 18 when it was damaged by a jetbridge. I wonder how big an impact that will have on their financials; it must be costing a fortune not having it up and running for so long. Hope they can weather that loss.

  8. @GuruJanitor IT industry. There are not many direct flights originating in other countries – I try avoiding transiting Indian airports if I can.

    I could fly into BOM (which is really close with good intl options) but I hate the rollercoaster short flight over the mountains connecting to PNQ. Worse, my company bans us from travelling by car and the train is typically booked in advance save some emergency tickets.

    Flying from US with only one hop and trying to keep trip time around 21 hours is challenging. I never flew the Frankfurt flight and instead typically opt for a stay over in Dubai on my way in/out. The AUH or DXB flights to PNQ are typically full from my experience… I would welcome any more options on this destination, which unfortunately is limited to 737 etc.

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