Star Alliance airline Spanair announced that it halted all operations on Friday, with the last flight expected to arrive at its base at 22:00 after talks with Qatar Airways over a stakeholding and capital injections collapsed.
Shortly after the regional government made clear that the airline could expect no further government-backed loans, the Barcelona-based Spanair started to cancel flights during that afternoon. Only flights returning from remote destinations to its Barcelona and Madrid bases still took off.
Spain's public airport operator AENA prepared special areas at Madrid's Terminal 2 and Barcelona's Terminal 1 to attend stranded passengers, which according to an Aena source may mount to "several thousands" only at these two airports.
Spanair's local competitors Iberia, Vueling and Air Europa announced contingency plans to accommodate Spanair passengers.
SAS, former owner and current minority shareholder of Spanair has released a statement under which it explains the potential impact of Spanair's bankruptcy, saying that it had already written down to 0 the value of its 10.9% shareholding. However, SAS has decided to write down outstanding debts and receivables of around $217.67 million and reserve $36.94 in guarantees and costs due to the bankruptcy.
Spanair was acquired about three years ago by a Catalonian consortium composed mainly by public institutions wanting to convert the airport at El Prat into an international hub with the help of Spanair, which it relocated from Palma de Mallorca to Barcelona for that purpose.
Spanair's domestic market share was 22%, but they did not operate to many destinations, so the actual share on their routes was higher.
posted by flytobarcelona.org