Small Planet folds after licence suspended

Lithuania-based Small Planet airlines has ceased flying after its air operating licence was suspended by Lithuania’s civil aviation authority this week.

The authority acted after the Vilnius Regional Court refused Small Planet’s request to allow additional time for restructuring.

The operating certificate was suspended from midnight on November 28. However, some of the carrier’s flying was immediately taken over by Vilnius-based carrier GetJet Airlines.

Small Planet went into administration in October after its German and Polish subsidiaries filed for insolvency and despite claiming “a successful and profitable operational performance” in 2018.

The carrier said then that it had been forced to declare insolvency to restructure after the subsidiary operations in Poland and Germany filed for bankruptcy.

It described the filing as “a vital step to protect its business”, and chief executive Kristijonas Kaikaris insisted: “There is a major difference between the restructuring in the Polish and German companies and in Lithuania.

Kaikaris described “finding a new investor” as “vital” to restructuring the subsidiaries in Germany and Poland but said: “The Lithuanian company can survive without it.”

The Lithuanian carrier reportedly presented a restructuring plan this week but failed to provide evidence to the court of commitments from an unnamed investor.

Small Planet Lithuania had eight aircraft. The Small Planet Airlines Group operated 29.

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