Overall, fewer carriers seemed to fail in 2014. For many airlines, it was a much more profitable year. Of concern was how many of the carriers that collapsed were only flying for months. I am tempted to call 2014 “the Year of the shortlived airline”.
Italy: 23 November, 1995 to 30 October, 2014
Alitalia’s low cost subsidiary never quite made sense. Following the takeover of Alitalia by Etihad, Air One was shut down.
USA: 26 October, 1993 to 28 December, 2014
Destinations: 72 (at peak)
On 28 December, 2014, AirTran flight 1 departed Atlanta for Tampa. This flight retraced the very first flight the airline flew under the brandname Valujet back in 1993. Of course, Valujet had a horrific crash in 1996 and was grounded for poor safety practices. The airline merged with smaller carrier AirTran Airways, became an almost entirely B717 airline and managed in 2000 to be awarded the best maintenance award by the FAA.
I loved flying AirTran. I was very sad to see it taken over by Southwest (who I also enjoy flying with) and phased out over the last three years. Their slogan was: Go. There’s nothing stopping you. Thank you for making that a reality for me.
Uganda: 2007 to 17 July 2014
Air Uganda was a private airline that was considered to be the country’s flag carrier. It was started with funds funds from the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.The government were considering a stake in 2013. In June 2014, Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority failed an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety audit. The CAA as a result had to withdraw all operating licenses. Without a licence, Air Uganda had to cease flying. Its European lessors then recalled their aircraft.
Russia: 4 October 2013 to 3 August 2014
In 2013, Aeroflot announced the formation of a new low cost subsidiary. The aim was for the carrier to grow from 8 cities in 2014 to 26 in 2016. The airline was impacted by EU Sanctions and ceased operating. Aeroflot have registered a new Low Cost carrier called in English: Budget Carrier.
Sweden: 1 February 2014 to 29 July 2014
Fly Olympic flew from Stockhom and Gothenburg to some eclectic destinations: Asmara (Eritrea), Baghdad, Erbil, London Gatwick Mogadishu, Mykonos, Santorini and Sulaymaniyah. I am not sure of the logic of flying London-Sweden-Africa. UK consumers found their tickets were worthless as the airline was not covered by any travel bond schemes.
Iceland: June 1, 2014 to September 18, 2014
Three months after starting, the carrier was grounded. Flying a Fokker from Copenhagen to Greenland via Iceland does not appeal to me! I don’t think it appealed to Greenlanders who could fly the existing carrier Air Greenland’s widebody A332.
The arrival of Phoenix-based Mesa Air Groupinto Hawaii in 2007 trading as go! resulted in a fare war, intense battling, legal action and very personal attacks. Their leaving seven years later was not overly mourned.
USA: June, 2014 to 26 September, 2014
I feel vindicated by this one. Accused of negativity because I did not think the business plan was viable, I can sadly say “I told you so”.
Their slogan was “Time to fly smart”. Sadly, the operators were outsmarted, after having both planes damaged. The airline suspended operations owing everyone money including Newport News airport which had advanced them money as an inducement. They still say they are coming back. Uh Uh.
UAE: 2006-2009/2010-1 January, 2014
RAK snuck in as the first closure of 2014. To explain RAK let me give some context. The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven emirates. Two of the emirates: Dubai and Abu Dhabi have successful international airlines: Emirates and Etihad respectively. Another of the emirates Sharjah has a smaller low cost carrier Air Arabia. Another state Ras al-Khaimah has been focussed on tourism development which has included the opening of its own airline: RAK. The airline failed in 2009 and was reborn a year later as a low cost carrier.
Indonesia: 1969 to 2011/2012 to 1 July 2014
Mandala, originally a military owned airline had four incarnations in its history. Its last one was as tigerair. Its shareholders, one of which was Tigerair Singapore ceased funding the company leading to its immediate closure.
Singapore: 5 May, 2004 to 26 October 2014
Valuair was launched as a no frills carrier with frills such as free luggage and 32″ seat pitch! Taken over by Jetstar Asia Airways in 2005, the brand name was retained for Jetstar Asia’s scheduled services to major cities in Indonesia until October 2014.
Primarily charter airlines,World Airways did operate loss making scheduled international and domestic passenger services in the 1980s. World airways planes featured in some TV shows movies in the 1970s and 1980s.