Second European airline in less than a week cancels all flights after going bust

Norwegian airline Flyr is filing for bankruptcy.
Norwegian airline Flyr is filing for bankruptcy. Copyright Fabrizio Gandolfo / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
By Angela Symons with Reuters
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The airline says weak financial markets and uncertainty over demand for air travel left it cash-strapped.


Norwegian airline Flyr is filing for bankruptcy.

The loss-making airline made the announcement on Tuesday, saying it had failed to raise the cash it needed for its operations.

"All departures and ticket sales have as a consequence been cancelled," the company said in a statement.

More than 400 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the bankruptcy, Flyr founder and board Chair Erik Braathen told Norwegian daily Dagbladet.

What happened to Flyr?

Flyr launched operations in mid-2021 to serve domestic destinations in Norway as well as in Europe. 

On 4 October, the company said it would make heavy spending cuts, including furloughs, to preserve cash during the winter, and put non-profitable routes on hold.

In November, Flyr said securing more funds was vital to survive the winter season and prepare for the spring and summer of 2023. But it was only able to raise about half the required cash at the time.

The airline says weak financial markets and uncertainty over demand for air travel prevented it from raising more cash.

"There is no longer a realistic opportunity to achieve a solution for the short-term liquidity situation," the company said in a recent statement on its bankruptcy, adding the board's decision was unanimous.

The carrier has operated a leased fleet of 12 Boeing 737 aircraft, including six 737 MAX planes on contract from Air Lease Corp.

The company said on Monday it had tried and failed in recent days to secure 330 million Norwegian crowns (€30.5 million) of funding, triggering a 78 per cent drop in its share price.

Further trade in the stock will be suspended, Flyr said on Tuesday.

Which other airlines are facing difficulties?

Flyr, whose rivals include Norwegian Air and Scandinavian carrier SAS, is the latest Nordic carrier to hit financial difficulties in recent years. The pandemic, soaring energy costs and falling consumer confidence have all dented demand.

SAS is itself undergoing a reorganisation under US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection proceedings. In 2021, Norwegian Air underwent restructuring supervised by an Irish court, emerging as a slimmed-down regional airline.

Elsewhere, British regional airline Flybe ceased trading on Saturday (28 January) after entering administration - a form of protection from creditors. All flights were cancelled and 276 workers were made redundant. This the second time in three years that the airline has halted operations.

What should you do if your Flyr flight is cancelled?

Flyr has terminated its operations and all tickets are no longer valid.

Ticket purchases by credit card are recoverable. Flyr has encouraged customers with bookings to contact their credit card companies for a refund.

It adds, "The bankruptcy trustee will take over all responsibility for Flyr going forward, and will share contact information on as soon as it becomes available."


Bookings made with a travel agent or partner may also be eligible for refunds through their insurance.

If you paid by debit card, you should contact your card issuer as you might be able to make a claim under their chargeback rules. This means your bank refunds the money as it was spent on a service that has not been or won't be provided.

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