Small Planet Airlines (S5, Vilnius) has filed for restructuring under Lithuanian law, blaming its two troubled sister airlines - Small Planet Airlines Germany (5P, Berlin Schönefeld) and Small Planet Airlines Polska (P7, Warsaw Chopin) - for causing financial distress to the whole group.

The leisure specialist said it intended to continue doing business, albeit on a reduced scale during the Winter 2019 season. The restructuring will give Small Planet Airlines more flexibility in dealing with creditors, most of whom have claims originally targeted at the group's Polish and German units. Small Planet Airlines previously issued guarantees and joint liabilities to the suppliers of the other two carriers.

"Despite successful and profitable operational performance, it was a vital step for the company to protect its business from the negative impact of the financial difficulties in Small Planet Airlines Sp. z o. o. (Poland) and Small Planet Airlines GmbH (Germany). Because of restructuring proceedings in Germany and Poland, the Lithuanian entity will have to write-off unpaid amounts for the services, rendered to its sister companies, and expects restructuring will help to decrease its excess infrastructure," the Lithuanian carrier said in a statement.

"There is a major difference between restructuring in Polish and German companies, and in Lithuania. Small Planet Airlines in Poland and Germany were loss-making companies, whereas Small Planet Airlines Lithuania continued to operate successfully this year – we expect our operational profit to reach EUR3.4 million (USD3.9 million) by the end of 2018," CEO Kristijonas Kaikaris added.

During the restructuring, Small Planet Airlines' fleet will stay at its current size of eight A320-200s. Of these, two will be wet-leased to Small Planet Airlines Cambodia (LKH, Phnom Penh), another two to Bamboo Airways (QH, Hanoi), while the remaining four will continue to operate in Europe.

The carrier will honour all its existing contracts with tour operators. It said that the restructuring wpuld have no impact on the planned operations during Winter 2019.

"For the restructuring to be successful in Germany and Poland, finding a new investor is vital, whereas the Lithuanian company can survive without it. However, we are leaving this option on the table and having talks with potential investors since an additional financial injection would allow Small Planet Airlines Lithuania to go through the restructuring easier and faster," Kaikaris said.

Meanwhile, the group's Polish will reduce its fleet to just a single aircraft. While the airline currently operates a single A320-200, SP-HAI (msn 1007), the aircraft is due for a part out shortly. CEO Bartosz Czajka has said on his social media account that the carrier was soliciting bids for a single A319-100 for the upcoming winter season.

Small Planet Airlines Polska filed for restructuring under Polish law in early October 2018.

Small Planet Airlines Germany declared insolvency in mid-September 2018.