DALLAS — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global restrictions on travel and country lockdowns caused the temporary shutdown of airspace and forced airlines to ground their fleets.
Some airlines never took to the skies again, falling prey to rising costs and infrequent travel demand. Today, we will see the carriers that lost the battle against the fallout of the pandemic.
About 100 airlines ceased operations or filed for bankruptcy during or after the pandemic. In this post, we will discuss the reasons for such failures from a list of airlines in Africa and the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. In our second post, we’ll look at the lists for European, North American, and South American carriers.
The following list does not include rebranded airlines that ceased operations or those that temporarily filed for bankruptcy following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fallout of the Pandemic
The pandemic was a major contributing factor to the indefinite suspension of operations for certain airlines, but it was not the only factor. Reduced demand for air travel, an increase in remote working, travel restrictions, and prior financial and management issues all played a role in these airline closures.
Additionally, some airlines were later grounded due to the Russia-Ukraine War, with rising operating costs due to leasing aircraft and needing to pay high installments to lessors.
The pandemic has played a large role in the shutdowns of around 13 African airlines and close to 20 APAC carriers. In addition, we will cover the defunct European and American carriers in a later post, so make sure to follow Airways NOTAM to stay up to date with the latest news.
This list will include information on regional, domestic, and international passenger and cargo carriers, as well as the primary causes for the failures of those airlines that ceased operations in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Future posts will also analyze the recent failures of Flybe (BE) and Flyr (FS).
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Feature Image: Air Namibia V5-ANP AIrbus A330-243. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways