Recently created Norwegian regional airline FlyViking will halt all operations Jan. 12 following a series of technical and other problems.

The Tromsø-based carrier began operations March 27, 2017 with services connecting Tromsø, Hammerfest and Bodø in the north of the country. It had a fleet of four Bombardier Dash 8-100 regional turboprops.

In a statement on the carrier’s website, chairman Ola Olsen said it was “not economically viable to move on with the material we have today. Further, a controlled winding up will allow us to suspend operations in FlyViking within a reasonable time, while neither customers, suppliers, employees or hired personnel will be injured.”

Passengers with tickets for flights after that date will be reimbursed, the company said.

Managing director Heine Richardsen said there were several underlying reasons that had made it difficult to achieve profitability. These included “major technical challenges with the first three Dash 8-100” aircraft, which had led to many cancellations and subsequent loss of customers. Additionally, the airline’s fourth aircraft, which had been scheduled to go into operation in November, had a problem that he said made it impossible to use on the company’s routes.

The service cancellations and subsequent ticket refunds had affected both the company’s finances and customer confidence in it, he said.

Additionally, FlyViking had been unable to sell tickets through the Amadeus distribution system.  “This has meant that companies that make use of travel agencies for ticket orders have not been able to choose FlyViking,” and the airline’s own booking system had been problematic. Neither had self check-in options available.

Since its inception, parent company Viking Air Norway has injected NOK134 million ($16.5 million) into FlyViking through share capital and loans and the decision had been taken for an orderly rundown of operations while funds remained to meet outstanding obligations up to Jan. 12.

Meanwhile, a new limited company will be created, initially to maintain the Ørland-Oslo route. This will be done by transferring the route to another regional airline, which will work with the new company.

Alan Dron