SkyEurope go belly under!

Slovakian Budget airline SkyEurope is the latest carrier to go belly under, after canceling their flights from airports throughout Europe, many of which with no notice given. This reality left literally thousands of passengers (many on vacation) stranded at European airports.

Airlines in Austria however did offer to return passengers to their home country and others carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair, offered passengers cheap replacement tickets.

Already committed consumers are not likely to be offered refunds either if they paid SkyEurope direct. Passengers that purchased flights with a credit card are best advised to contact their credit card issuing bank to seek a potential refund for unused portions of SkyEurope's flights. If by chance you are reading and ordered flight tickets via a travel agency or organizer, its best to discuss the matter with them first.

AirEurope operated in key central and eastern European destinations with a hub in Vienna, Prague and Bratislava. They were experiencing continued losses, even after a management shake up 2 years ago. When the carrier reduced its fleet from 15 aircraft to merely 5 in 2008 and then made even further losses at the start of 2009, it was clear they were fast reaching the point of no return. 

SkyEurope entered a bankruptcy protection proceeding in June and at this time there was hope of a rescue by an Austrian private equity group, but unfortunately the management could not arrange a restructuring plan fast enough. 

The sad reality and state of the Airline Industry today is that SkyEurope is just the latest casualty of some 80 carriers worldwide that have gone bankrupt in 2009 alone and this regretful news comes as IATA announced recently that the world's 54 largest airlines fell into a $2 billion USD hole in the summer quarter. Such a loss is double the figure of last year as the recession sinks in. Moreover, it comes at a time when the Industry's busiest period has resulted in falling fares and the prospect of more damaging oil prices ahead. IATA estimates an annual deficit of $9 billion USD for the Airline industry, as experts from all walks of Tourism and Transport forecast that fares are destined plummet further, especially as the off-season approaches.