The Lithuania based Small Planet Group is in serious financial trouble as it’s German and now Polish airline subsidiaries have filed for fiscal reorganisation- both are seeking investors or sale.
The Polish airline is in a legal position designed to prevent an all-out bankruptcy and there is a possibility, though a slim one, it may pull through.
While the airline claims valuable slots at Warsaw Chopin airport as part of its portfolio, the sale or lease of the rights to them would deny the airline itself their use.
As with so many airline realities, short term fixes frequently fail to provide the key to long term solutions.
The Polish aviation market is booming, with LOT and its allies in StarAlliance making substantial gains, and airlines from easyJet to RyanAir and of course Wizz, are eating away into areas Small Planet has, until now, thrived on.
Once again an under-resourced airline that has stood for many years, finds itself unable to scale- up fast enough to survive, as others pile in.
RyanAir has targeted Small Planet directly, setting up a 5-aircraft RyanAir Sun that quickly impacted Small Planet, undercutting it’s prices to beach holiday markets much in demand in Poland during the summer.
That problem will be even worse for Small Planet if it survives, as RyanAir Sun will be adding another 5 aircraft in March 2019 to make 10. Without financing and the ability to take in such opposition the airlines survival seems at best temporary.
There is no surely a question mark over the size and voracity of the mega-airlines, and the seemingly endless march in crushing opposition with low prices then raising them when the competition is dead and buried.