SAS Joins List of Airline Failures and Bankruptcies Since Pandemic's Start

Skift Take

The list of pandemic airline bankruptcies keeps growing even as travel bounces back faster than anticipated. But hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in government aid didn’t save SAS, which became the latest victim Tuesday.

One of Europe’s largest airlines, SAS, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday, becoming the latest financial casualty in global aviation.

During the first few months following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, the industry experienced a rash of bankruptcies. In some cases, these bankruptcies resulted in restructurings and, in others, they led to complete shutdowns.

The list would have been a lot longer were it not for huge amounts of government aid. How huge? Trade group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last fall estimated the figure at $243 billion, consisting of everything from wage subsidies to credit support to tax breaks. Some governments were more generous than others and in places where the generosity was lacking, like Latin America, airline bankruptcies were rife. 

The pace of bankruptcies have slowed this year. But they haven’t stopped, just look at Comair in South Africa. The SAS filing comes in the middle of the carrier’s peak summer season, which is unusual. But with pilots on strike, there was not much of an alternative. 

Flybe (UK) Files for Bankruptcy Mar-20
Trans States (U.S.) Ceased Operations Apr-20
Compass (U.S.) Ceased Operations Apr-20
CityJet (Ireland) Files for Bankruptcy Apr-20
Virgin Austraila Files for Bankruptcy Apr-20
Air Mauritius Files for Bankruptcy Apr-20
Avianca (Colombia) Files for Bankruptcy May-20
Aeromexico Files for Bankruptcy Jun-20
Thai Airways Files for Bankruptcy Sep-20
TAME (Ecuador) LIquidation May-20
LATAM (Chile) Files for Bankruptcy May-20
SunExpress Deustchland Announces Ceasing Operations Jun-20
One Airlines (Chile) Ceased Operations Jun-20
NokScoot (Thaiand) Ceases Operations Jun-20
LIAT (Antigua) Ceases Most Operations Jun-20
Jet Time (Denmark) Files for Bankruptcy Jul-20
Virgin Atlantic (UK) Files for Bankruptcy Aug-20
AirAsia Japan Ceases Operations Oct-20
Cathay Dragon (Hong Kong) Ceases Operations Oct-20
Ravn Air (U.S.) Files for Bankruptcy Oct-20
Norwegian Air Files for Bankruptcy Nov-20
Czech Airlines Files for Bankruptcy Mar-21
InterJet (Mexico) Files for Bankruptcy Apr-21
Philippine Airlines Files for Bankruptcy Sep-21
Blue Panorama (Italy) Ceased Operations Oct-21
Comair/Kulula (South Africa) Ceased Operations Jun-22
SAS Files for Bankruptcy Jul-22

November 16, 2022Dallas-Fort Worth, TX and Online Learn More Now

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