Special Report

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


Source: osdphoto / Flickr

> Headquarter: Sollentuna, Sweden
> Ceased operations: May 2018

Providing only economy class service, NextJet was founded in 2002 to offer regional flights within Sweden and its neighbors, Finland and Norway. Sweden’s Transport Agency revoked its regular license because of its financial straits. The now-defunct airline had provided a service to northern regions of Scandinavia and had received generous subsidies from local governments to help support its operations, but it usually flew with half its seats filled.

Source: Anna Zvereva / Wikimedia Commons

Dart Airlines
> Headquarter: Kiev, Ukraine
> Ceased operations: April 2018

Dart began operations in 1997, flying regular routes and charter flights from Ukraine to Greece, Albania, Montenegro, and Georgia. It was forced by the Ukraine government to suspend services in April 2018 pending an investigation into the airline’s alleged sale or lease of airplanes to Iran and Syria in violation of U.S. sanctions. In September of 2017, the U.S. had imposed its own economic sanctions against Dart for providing service, crews, and aircraft to Iranian and Iraqi airlines.

Source: ajw1970 / Flickr

VLM Airlines
> Headquarter: Antwerp, Belgium
> Ceased operations: August 2018

VLM was famous for its Antwerp-London City route — the London City airport being a central and convenient location — which it began in 1993. The Belgian airline flew out of Antwerp not just to London but several other European cities, too. By the end of its run only the London route was profitable.

Source: Gerard van der Schaaf / Wikimedia Commons

Cobalt Air
> Headquarter: Cyprus
> Ceased operations: October, 2018

An award-winning startup, Cobalt Air emerged in 2016 to fill the gap left when government-owned airline Cyprus Airways ended service in 2015. Last October, Cobalt announced the suspension of all of its flights after just two years of operation, during which time it reigned as Cyprus’s largest airline, with 200 staff, six aircraft, and 23 destinations. Its collapse was blamed on overcapacity and tight margins within its market.

Source: aero_icarus / Flickr

SkyWork Airlines
> Headquarter: Belp, Switzerland
> Ceased operations: August 2018

Founded in 1983 as a flight school, SkyWork Airlines flew economy class routes throughout Europe beginning in 2009, receiving high ratings from its passengers for its service. Burdened with unmanageable debt, suspension of its license, and its failure to attract new investors, SkyWork declared bankruptcy last August, affecting 11,000 ticket holders and 100 employees.