MIAMI – Chilean-based ONE Airlines (ONS) announced yesterday June 24, 2020, that it has ceased operations due to the hard financial situation caused by the current COVID-19 crisis.

Through a letter destined to its workers, the owner and Chairman of ONE (Over Night Express) Claudio Fischer Llop informed the decision of the directory to close the airline.

Llop also blamed the competition from SKY, JetSMART, and LATAM, which are offering charters at prices that ONE cannot compete with, and the lack of financial support from the Chilean government, making ONE’s operation non-viable during the present and near future.

Photo: ONE Airlines

Content of the letter

In the letter, Fischer Llop wrote that “it was with great sadness” that he was informing staff that “after long years of effort of shareholders, executives and all the collaborators of the airline, they had to make the difficult decision to close the company.”

According to the chairman, the shutdown was “impossible to reverse given the current health crisis and the unfair conditions of the prevailing market,” citing the aforementioned airlines’ competitive price schemes and the fact that the carrier has been “denied access to support measures” while “for large airlines, different options have been announced.”

ONE Airlines. Photo: Wiki Commons

No other alternatives

Fisher Llop added, “In this dark scenario and having no other alternatives,” he responsibly made the decision to close the company, adding, “Those who know me know that I have a special affection for ONE Airlines and its entire team, but today the company is not Viable.”

The owner ended his message by saying that the airline would get in touch with each employee starting today to formalize the termination of the corresponding labor relations.

The company has not been flying since April this year, and has mainly operated on behalf of mining interests in northern Chile for seven years, initially with a couple of Boeing 737-400 leased from XtraAirways, adding the 737-300 CC-AIT in December 2013 and the -300 CC-DAN during 2019. 

The Puerto Montt based airline Aerocord —also owned by Fischer Llop— is continuing ONE’s operations.