Special Report

20 Airlines That Have Gone Out of Business in the Past Year

Source: Terrazzo / Wikimedia Commons

PAWA Dominicana
> Headquarter: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
> Ceased operations: February 2018

PAWA Dominicana was established in 2002 as a subsidiary of Pan American Airlines, with routes throughout the Caribbean. As the first Dominican airline in 20 years to offer commercial flights to the United States, it flew a popular route daily between Santo Domingo and Miami. The airline ceased operations after the Dominican government suspended the company’s Air Operators Certificate (AOC) because of the airline’s serious financial troubles, including millions owed to the Dominican Republic’s largest airport. The sudden suspension left many passengers stranded, requiring the Dominican government to charter other planes for their rescue.

Source: Courtesy of OneJet

> Headquarter: Cambridge, Massachusetts
> Ceased operations: August 2018

Founded in 2015, OneJet operated a “public charter” airline out of Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, flying small jets on regular routes for business travel. Following a failed attempt to purchase another charter business, and after the federal government placed a lien on the company for over $600,000 in unpaid excise taxes, OneJet announced a “temporary” suspension of services in August of 2018. It hasn’t operated since and has become the subject of a bankruptcy proceeding with many creditors, who cumulatively have lost millions of dollars in contracts and investments.

Source: Robert Jones / Wikimedia Commons

Fly Jamaica Airways
> Headquarter: Kingston, Jamaica
> Ceased operations: March 2019

A tiny airline company with the callsign “Greenhart,” Fly Jamaica Airways began operations in 2012 with only one airplane; a second was added two years later. It flew regular routes to New York, Toronto, Guyana, and Cuba. Its demise came after one of its planes, en route to Toronto, crash landed in Guyana. Passengers filed a class-action lawsuit requesting compensation. Lack of aircraft and funding is what company bosses say led to the airline’s end.

Source: Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia / Wikimedia Commons

> Headquarter: Reykjavík, Iceland
> Ceased operations: March 2019

WOW Air was a budget airline established in 2012, offering flights to Europe for as low as $200, but charging travelers for luggage, refreshments, and relative comfort. By 2018, it had over 1,000 employees, 11 planes, and millions of passengers, but it was struggling with finances and consumer complaints. When an attempted merger with its competitor, Icelandair, fell apart, as did other efforts to attract investors, WOW declared bankruptcy.

Source: Hawaiian717 / Wikimedia Commons

California Pacific Airlines
> Headquarter: Carlsbad, California
> Ceased operations: January 2019

Ninety-seven year old entrepreneur Ted Vallas made good on a longstanding promise to start an airline connecting northern San Diego to the Silicon valley last year. When, on Nov. 1, 2018, his first passengers made that flight on California Pacific Airlines, Vallas’s dream had come true. The flights ceased to operate after only a few weeks, ostensibly because of a nationwide pilot shortage, and on Jan. 18, the company furloughed its 90 employees “with no return to work date.” In its short existence, the airline was plagued with cancellations, delays, and negative customer reviews, casting doubt on its owner’s vow that it will rise again.