Following 7.5 years of operations and almost half a year of struggling to find an investor, SkyEurope Airlines has announced its bankruptcy this morning on the website of the Vienna Stock Exchange, which also means the immediate suspension of all of their flights.
We have reported earlier that a SkyEurope plane had been held up in Paris in July, then all of their Vienna flights were moved to Bratislava just two weeks ago, and earlier on Monday the company cancelled all flights from Slovakia until midnight on Monday, facing a suspension in flights from the Czech capital of Prague starting on Tuesday due to outstanding bills. Then the (not-so) shocking news saw the light this morning: SkyEurope Airlines went bankrupt. This means all of its fleet is grounded, all of its passengers are left behind wherever they may be at the moment.
The final request for the bankruptcy procedure came from the advisor overlooking Slovakian SkyEurope’s financial restructuring. Due to this, ALL OF SKYEUROPE’s flights are CANCELLED with IMMEDIATE EFFECT. Some reports claim their staff has not received their salary for some time, and it still owes a large sum of money for Bratislava Airport for the fuel they have used in recent weeks. SkyEurope first flew on February 13, 2002 and last flew on August 31, 2009.
When clicking on the banner that reads “SkyEurope suspends its operations”, you get to a page with the following text:
Please be advised that SkyEurope has suspended its sales and operations immediately.
Those of you who have purchased flights with a credit card, please turn to your credit card issuing bank to seek refunds for unused portions of SkyEurope’s flights.
In case you have paid directly to SkyEurope in other means than credit card (e.g. bank transfer, cash), please be advised that a refund may not be possible.
If you have ordered your flight tickets via a travel agency or organizer, you should discuss the matter with them first.
If you are already at the destination or have rented a car through SkyEurope’s business partner, you may stay at the hotel and use the vehicle during the period originally agreed. You must, however, order a return flight from some other airline at your own expense.
You may also wish to contact your insurance provider to seek further guidance and support.
We regret for the inconvenience that have been caused to you.”
The worst point is the one that explains that if you are already at your destination, “you must … order a return flight from some other airline at your own expense”. This will mean a lot of hazzle, and maybe extra income and profit for other airlines flying on the same route. Earlier, when other low-cost airlines went bankrupt, easyJet and BA were the first ones to offer special tickets for passengers having a valid ticket with the bankrupt airline. We are wondering if any other airline will offer this now (Austrian Airlines, Wizzair, CSA and maybe Malev are in favor as they share(d) some routes with SkyEurope).
Update (02SEP): Three Airlines are offering special one-way fares for passengers holding a valid SkyEurope ticket: Austrian Airlines for EUR 150, Malév Hungarian Airlines for EUR 99 EasyJet for EUR 30 and Wizzair for EUR 30. Malév also offers the EUR 99 fare for passengers who planned to fly with SkyEurope from Prague – they can now take Malév’s offer for a transfer flight through Budapest.