Undoubtedly COVID decimated the airline industry. With no income and high fixed costs, by rights, almost all carriers should have gone bust. However, thanks to the support of governments and airlines’ own refinancing efforts, the list of casualties for 2020 stands at just 34 airlines.
That might sound like a lot, but when you consider 23 collapsed in 2019 without the impact of COVID, it’s actually not a terrible outcome. Here’s a summary of all the airlines that ceased trading in 2020, according to data from CAPA
January 11th: Ernest Airlines, Italy
The first casualty of 2020, Italian low-cost Ernest Airlines’ demise can’t really be played as a COVID-related collapse. The end began on December 29th when the Italian CAA announced it would be revoking the airline operator’s certificate on January 13th due to a lack of required guarantees. Before that could happen, it closed up shop.
February 14th, AtlasGlobal, Turkey
Not to be confused with cargo operator Atlas Air, AtlasGlobal had also been in trouble for some time. In November 2019, it suspended all flights pending a restructuring. Although it resumed services a couple of weeks later, it was still in difficulty. The airline returned its sole two A330-200s to the lessors in January and filed for bankruptcy in February.
February 26th: Air Italy, Italy
Air Italy was something of a surprise; the money was most definitely on Alitalia to be the airline that didn’t make it out alive. Regardless of investment from Qatar Airways, the airline couldn’t do enough to survive and landed its last flight on February 26th last year.