Adria Airways (JP, Ljubljana) has announced in a press release that it will suspend almost all flight operations on September 24-25, 2019, as it faces a liquidity crunch.

The "decision to temporarily cease flight operations is a consequence of currently unsecured access to fresh cash which the airline needs for further flight operations. The company is at this point intensively searching solutions in cooperation with a potential investor. The goal of everyone involved is to make Adria Airways fly again and that ceasing of operations is indeed temporarily," the Slovenian flag carrier said in a press release.

Adria Airways has since confirmed to ch-aviation that wet-lease operations for Austrian, Lufthansa, Luxair, and Swiss have also been suspended. However, in a follow-up release, it did confirm it would operate Ljubljana-Frankfurt Int'l on Tuesday, September 24, and Frankfurt-Ljubljana the day after.

Although the airline has been facing financial difficulties for a long time, its crisis intensified between September 18-20, 2019, when two of its CRJ900s were repossessed by Falko Regional Aircraft. This event predominantly impacted the carrier's wet-lease operations for Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) but also created other flight delays and cancellations.

Adria's fleet consists of:

  • three A319-100s on lease from Carlyle Aviation Partners (all of which are in Ljubljana as of midnight on September 23);
  • two CRJ700s on lease from Regional One (one wet-leased to Luxair (LG, Luxembourg) and in Saarbrücken as of midnight on September 23, the other one in Ljubljana);
  • nine CRJ900s (two repossessed by Falko while at Munich airport last week; four on lease from AeroCentury of which one is wet-leased to Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna) and in Bologna as of midnight on September 23, one wet-leased to Lufthansa and in Munich, one returned by Adria to AeroCentury and ferried to Maastricht for maintenance on September 20, one previously wet-leased to Austrian but ferried back to Ljubljana on September 23 under Adria's code; and three more in Ljubljana owned by Regional One including one in storage from August 2019); and
  • six Saab 2000s on lease from Jetstream Aviation Capital (three previously inactive, two inactivated on September 14 and 19, 2019, and one wet-leased to Swiss and in Lugano as of midnight on September 23).

Swiss has told news agency Keystone-SDA that its Zurich-Lugano route has been temporarily suspended until at least September 26 given it does not have aircraft in its fleet that can operate from/to Lugano.

Luxair has announced in a press release that it has cancelled its Saarbrücken-Berlin Tegel services on September 24 and 25 but is working on a solution to resume services as soon as possible.

Regional lessor AeroCentury has since announced in a press release that it has repossessed two out of four CRJ-900s saying that "after many months of working closely with" with Adria "as it worked to improve its financial condition, today (on September 23) the Company gave notice to Adria of the termination of its leases for two CRJ 900 aircraft with immediate effect, due to the accumulation of substantial payment defaults by the airline under its leases." It has also given notice to Adria that it would cancel the last remaining lease contract by September 27 on one remaining aircraft unless Adria pays its dues given one other CRJ900 aircraft has already been returned and two have been repossessed.

Until September 19 and 21, Adria Airways was also wet-leasing a BAe 146-200 and an E190 from WDL Aviation (WH, Cologne/Bonn). Both aircraft have already returned to Cologne/Bonn.

The Star Alliance member operates a regional network from its Ljubljana hub and also operates a base in Pristina. It is privately owned by German investor Stefan Beulertz and fund 4K Invest. As of September 24, it said was "intensively" searching for solutions with a potential investor.

Editorial Comment: Added clarification that wet-lease operations have also been suspended and added statements from Swiss and Luxair.||Updated operational plans covering 24-25SEP19. - 24.09.2019 - 08:50 UTC