The Polish airline of Lithuania’s Small Planet Group has filed for restructuring under Polish law and is seeking an investor, shortly after the group’s German airline filed for insolvency.

On Oct. 8, Small Planet Airlines said its Polish leisure carrier has entered “accelerated arrangement” restructuring proceedings. Accelerated arrangement is an insolvency step under Polish law, aimed at averting bankruptcy.

“The aim of the restructuring is to reduce the number of aircraft, attract additional financial investment and find a sustainable way to continue flight operations. Both legally and operationally, it is an absolutely different procedure from bankruptcy,” a Small Planet Airlines spokesperson told ATW by email on Oct. 9.

Small Planet Airlines Poland operated 10 aircraft in summer 2017, which it said made it Poland’s largest charter airline, dropping down to just two aircraft over the winter season. This pattern will be repeated in 2018, with a drop from 10 to two aircraft. Small Planet Airlines said “demand drops significantly” during the winter season.

“We have agreed with tour operators on updated schedules, so there will be no effect on passengers,” the spokesperson said.

Small Planet Airlines Poland CEO Bartosz Czajka said the airline holds “valuable slots” at Warsaw Chopin Airport and peak-summer slots at a number of Greek islands, including Heraklion, Zakynthos, Rhodes. He hopes this will attract an investor, now that the restructuring plan is in place.

“Small Planet Airlines Sp. z o. o is an independent company, so restructuring in the Polish entity will have no effect on the flights operated by Small Planet Airlines Lithuania: it will continue flying from Vilnius and foreign bases as planned. Cambodian company, operating under Small Planet Airlines brand, will continue its usual operations as well,” it said.

Small Planet Airlines GmbH—the group’s German airline—has filed for insolvency but has permission to continue German and Dutch flight operations as it restructures.

Competition in the Polish charter market has increased over recent years, with Ryanair setting up a new airline called Ryanair Sun. This summer, Ryanair Sun operated five aircraft for Polish tour operators. That fleet will double to over 10 aircraft for winter 2018.

Victoria Moores