MIAMI – Today in Aviation, German charter carrier Hamburg International (4R) ceased operations in 2010, just after 12 years of operations.
The airline was founded in July 1998 by a group of businessmen who saw a gap in the German charter market. German conglomerate Scmider Kleiser Holdings provided the funding, taking a 51% stake. Private investors owned the rest.
Flights commenced on April 28, 1999. Operations focused on routes from secondary German cities to popular European holiday destinations. These were flown on behalf of tour companies including NUR, TUI, and Oeger Tours.
A subsidiary known as Hamburg Chile Airlines was formed with two Chilean businessmen in 2001. A Boeing 737-700 was leased from the German carrier. Flights between Santiago and several Caribbean destinations were operated on behalf of Iberojet (E9).
In February 2006 the airline announced an order for 14 Airbus A319s to replace its six 737s. Speaking at the time the airlines Managing Directors Norbert Grella, Klaus Schlichtmann and Christoph von Saldern said in a statement: “We believe that the renewal of our fleet with A319 aircraft will further improve the satisfaction of our customers in terms of comfort and flexibility to serve our niche markets.”
The airline was forced to suspend all operations and file for bankruptcy after a number of its contracts were revoked. Eight A319s and a single 737-700 were in the fleet, all of which were immediately returned to their lessors.
Featured image: D-AHIL was delivered to the airline in July 2008. It was transferred to Germania (ST) following 4R’s collapse. (Photo:Ken Fielding/https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfielding, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)