Bust! 2019 – A year of airline failures.

2019 has been a terrible year for airline failures, one of the the worst on record.

The causes vary but it’s never just one thing, usually a combination. The top three: 1.Bad management, 2. Predatory competition 3.Regulatory issues.

The airlines that went down were a mix of the loved, the old and the relatively new.

January 2019:

California Pacific – a life of just two months speaks volumes.


Asian Air, flew from Dushanbe in Tajikistan to places no one wanted to fly.


February 2019:

Germania, serving Germany, Switzerland and France mainly. A Swiss spin-off still flies under the name CHair.


FlyBMI, serving Regional UK and north Europe, simply didn’t have the business and cash to carry on, bad management played a key role as nobody seemed to want to see the writing on the wall.


Insel Air flew out of the Caribbean island of Curaçao.


March 2019:

How can Low Cost Carriers fail in today’s market? By over expanding and not paying attention to the finances WOW took most by surprise when it collapsed.

Aerolíneas de Antioquía flew out of Medellín in Colombia to 20 destinations. Just couldn’t raise any funding.


Fly Jamaica Airways, a one plane operation failed at the end of the month.


Air Philip – South Korean airline flying since 2016 – just couldn’t make the grade.


April 2019:

JetAirways, one of the biggest casualties of the year. Incompetence, greed, vanity, bad regulation all led this airline down a path to oblivion- quietly watched by the touch of death investor Etihad. Casting Etihad’s partnership programme of shareholding’s in other airlines into the dustbin of “worlds most awful airline investments ever” as it notches up four total disasters in four big airlines.




Al Nasser Wings of Baghdad, Iraq. Who flies to Damascus in the middle of a civil war? Not what it seemed.


Avianca Argentina – it went down hill, never even bothered to announce its own bankruptcy and just stopped flying on the 24th.

September 2019:

As the 2019 northern summer season wound down the cash stopped flowing and the holiday based airlines cracked under the strain.


First to go was French airline Aigle Azur, then another French airline, XL Airways, finished off with the collapse of Thomas Cook Group which had been on life support for years owing £1.5 billion. The Scandinavian and German (Condor) operations managed to survive as regulations in their countries allowed for a way out. The British side is dead and and gone.




Adria Airways, it tried so hard but in the end it was predatory competition, especially from RyanAir, and lack of size that killed the Slovenian flag carrier.

October 2019:

Peruvian Airways, small Lima based carrier failed and closed.


New Gen Airways based in Thailand flew 737NG’s to China and regionally, got into trouble in September, closed in October.


Via Airlines based in Orlando FL and Jackson Mississippi has six aircraft, filed for bankruptcy.


TAM Bolivia – a Bolivian Air Force owned airline running to outlying rural communities shut down.

TAM (Bolivia) 737-300 FAB-115 (United CS)(Grd) LPB (CVC)(46)-625x417.jpg

Taron Avia – flew indirect from Georgia to Russia because of vindictive Russian regulations on direct flights – almost failed in 2018, finally shuttered in November 2019.

Screenshot 2019-12-13 at 15.31.48.png

Astra Airlines – based in Thessaloniki in Greece with just 4 aircraft, it failed in November.


FAT Far Eastern Air Transport ceased operations 13th December, Taiwans first private airline established in 1957 has closed.