Greek airline Viking Hellas will fulfil the UK flying programme for its associate airline Viking Airlines AB this winter after it temporarily suspended operations.

Viking Airlines AB has returned its three aircraft to the leasing company for the winter period but hopes to resume operations next year. A spokesman for the airline confirmed it would return next summer with a smaller programme.

The airline had already announced the downsizing of its fleet by three aircraft and a number of job losses in August following the collapse of Kiss Flights.

It was operating one aircraft from the UK and would have had a small winter programme, so the change is expected to have little impact on agents and tour operators.

Noel Josephides, managing director of Sunvil Holidays and former non-executive chairman of the airline, said: “The airline hasn’t ceased trading or anything like that. It will resume flying next summer.”

Viking Hellas launched a three-times-a-week scheduled service from Manchester to Athens in February with onward connections to three Iraqi cities.

Viking AB, which was formed in 2003 and is owned by European Aviation & Technical Services and Black Pearl Investments, recorded a net profit of €3.8 million for the 2009 financial year with an equity ratio of 40%.