When COVID began making its trek around the world in March 2020, it turned the travel industry on its ear. Airlines were particularly affected; I remember following this worldwide flight cancellation tracker in the earliest days of the pandemic was just chilling.
Most airlines were eventually able to start flying again, albeit with very different schedules, protocols and rules in place. However, not all carriers were so lucky and over 30 airlines went out of business in 2020 alone.
2021 showed some progress – vaccines became available and more would-be passengers were willing to fly. However even that was too little, too late for some airlines that just couldn’t hold on.
Here are the airlines we’ve lost in 2021:
- Amaszonas Uruguay (Uruguay)
- SilkAir (Singapore)
- Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics (Spain)
- Air Namibia (Namibia)
- Atlantis European Airways (Armenia)
- Bukovyna Airlines (Ukraine)
- Sky Regional Airlines (Canada)
- Interjet (Mexico)
- Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines (Mozambique)
- Norwegian Long Haul (Norway)
- Air Antwerp (Belgium)
- Fly My Sky (New Zealand)
- Stobart Air (Ireland)
- Orange2Fly (Greece)
- Alitalia (Italy)
- Blue Panorama (Italy)
- Great Dane Airlines (Denmark)
There are still a couple of days left in 2021, so who knows what will still happen. But so far that’s “only” 17 – about half of 2020. So I guess that’s a good thing?
Of course, there’s no guarantee that any or all of these airlines went out of business directly because of COVID. Airlines go under every year (2019 was a particularly rough year, according to Reuters). But one would assume their respective failures were usually due to financial hardship secondary to lack of passengers (granted, perhaps doubled with lack of bailout availability). And there were certainly fewer passengers on planes until at least the second half of 2021. So I think it would be appropriate to say that COVID certainly had some part in their going out of business.
Fingers crossed for a better 2022!
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