Bankrupt German leisure airline Germania will be permanently shut down, its administrator Rüdiger Wienberg said March 25.

“It was clear from the beginning given the circumstances that it would be extremely difficult to rescue [the airline],” Wienberg wrote. “Germania was grounded, we had no owned aircraft and no money to pay for lease rates. We rolled out the red carpet for interested parties, but unfortunately no one could or wanted to walk across it.”

Germania had filed for bankruptcy Feb. 5 and immediately stopped flying. According to Wienberg, he has been talking to one potential investor for the flight operations part of the business and two other potential investors for the MRO division. Separately, he aimed at continuing the business as a wet-leasing operation, but with lessors taking back more and more aircraft that turned out to be impossible.

The company initially focused on niche markets both for leisure, as well as ethnic travel. It also leased out a sizeable part of its fleet and generated substantial profits in the leasing arm. However, as leases expired Germania took on a growing number of aircraft into its own operation. In the aftermath of the 2017 airberlin bankruptcy, Germania also tried to grab as big a share of the German leisure market as possible, with doubts about its ability to finance the expansion growing. Germania also had an order for 25 A320neos in place. The airline expanded capacity by around 40% in 2018, much faster than the German market.

As a consequence of the failure, all 1,700 employees are to be laid off, Wienberg said. Most recently, the airline had a fleet of 37 aircraft, including some still in service with subsidiaries in Switzerland and Bulgaria that are not affected by the bankruptcy.

Leisure carriers Condor and TUI fly are to benefit most from the collapse, although route overlap was limited. Tour operators had contingency plans in place several weeks before the actual bankruptcy so the impact on their own business was not severe.

Jens Flottau/Aviation Week