On the morning of Thursday May 3rd, 2012, Denmark’s regional airline Cimber Sterling filed for bankruptcy after its owners pulled financial support from the company. The carrier had 19 international and six domestic destinations. Four of its six domestic routes were monopoly routes.
Sun-Air of Scandinavia, Danish Air Transport (DAT), Norwegian and Skyways have all taken over routes very quickly.
I have never flown them but I was interested for two reasons.
The first is how many airlines have gone this year. We are up to ten with some big names (Malev, Air Zimbabwe, and Spanair). Three went in January, four in February and three in April. Not quite as bad as 2008 when 84 carriers across the world disappeared.
The second reason is the pedigree in Cimber Sterling. Cimber has been flying since 1950. In 2008 Cimber Air bought parts of Sterling airlines and changed its name in 2009 to Cimber-Sterling. The airline operated as a combination low cost and regional carrier since. A model that was clearly not working as they had recently announced that from September, 2012, the low cost international operations would go. Sterling (founded 1962) were Europe’s fourth largest low cost carrier after they merged with Maersk Air in 2005. They collapsed as a result of the Icelandic financial crisis in 2008.
I think this is the last time we will hear from the Sterling name.