PowdAir (Sion) has scrapped plans to commence operations this winter season after failing to raise sufficient capital to fund its initial operations.

The Ireland-based virtual carrier had issued a general appeal for financial assistance after its key backer walked away from the project at the eleventh hour. Chief Financial Officer Sean Pettit later said PowdAir needed to secure at least GBP3 million (USD4 million) to operate this winter season with at least GBP1 million (USD1.33 million) needed by December 1 in order for it to operate a reduced winter flight schedule.

In a follow-up statement, the start-up said that as it had failed to secure the minimum capital required to start flights. It also added that while it was in talks with a new investor to secure the long-term future of the airline, the time needed to conclude the process precluded the launch of flights this winter.

"Powdair is not going into administration. The company will continue to exist, albeit with a longer timeline for getting planes in the air," it said. "We expect to relaunch during 2018 as an airline, operating our own aircraft, which gives us a much stronger basis on which to plan route schedules."

Passengers affected by the cancellation of flights will be given refunds, it added.