Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Adria's Saab saga deepens


Adria Airways' attempt to add six Saab 2000 aircraft to its fleet, which were previously operated by its now-defunct subsidiary Darwin Airline (also known as Adria Airways Switzerland), has been dealt a fresh blow after the Swiss regional carrier SkyWork Airlines lodged a complaint with the Lugano Bankruptcy Office over the manner in which the sale of the turboprops was conducted. The aircraft have been purchased by the American leasing company Jetstream Aviation Capital, which plans to lease the Saabs to Adria. SkyWork argues that it was provided with misleading and incomplete information by Darwin Airline's liquidator concerning the aircraft sale and that its inquiries relating to the turboprops during the sale process were left unanswered. An appeals process against the selection of the buyer has now formally begun.

Adria Airways initially planned to add the turboprops to its fleet back in March, however, this has been delayed on several occasions. In July 2017, the Slovenian airline acquired a 99.1% stake in Darwin, including the 33.3% share held by Etihad Airways, but in November that year the Swiss airline sought protection from creditors under the country’s insolvency laws. Darwin was subsequently liquidated in December 2017. That same month, Swiss prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into the carrier's collapse and have since been investigating the circumstances surrounding its demise, after being informed of irregularities in the airline's financial books by the external bankruptcy manager. The six Saabs have been grounded in Ljubljana ever since.

It is unclear how SkyWork Airlines' complaint could impact on Adria's plans to add the turboprops to its fleet, other than further delay their entry into service. The Slovenian carrier recently began advertising job vacancies for pilots for the aircraft type. Adria's Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Schneider, said the airline sees an opportunity to operate the aircraft in Ljubljana, as well as in Switzerland and Germany. The carrier is believed to be planning to base one of the aircraft in Paderborn, while another could be stationed in Darwin's former base of Lugano. The airline's CEO, Holger Kowarsch. recently said, "The market is showing a strong interest in Saab 2000s. Part of this fleet will operate in our network, while other aircraft will be available for charter and our ACMI business, which is growing in Europe".

98 comments:

  1. The circumstances behind Darwin's collapse are very murky.

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    1. I think there will be some criminal charges against 4K by the Swiss. Reading Swiss newspapers it is becoming more and more obvious that the financial hole was created during their stint at running the airline.

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    2. I still don't understand what they wanted to achieve by buying Darwin.

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    3. Getting the coveted Swiss AOC>

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    4. Well that worked out well...

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    5. I find it very hard to believe that Adria or 4K didn't know what state Darwin was in when they were planning to buy it. They knew exactly what they were getting themselves into and I tend to believe there is some other motive.

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    6. This whole thing with 4K (an investment fund buys into loss making airline, in a small country with not a lot of prospects market wise, buys another loss making airline, lets it go bankrupt etc.) just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

      There must be something else behind the scenes, something other than money that drives all of this. Otherwise it just doesn't make sense.

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  2. They have been pursuing these Saabs for so long, you would think they are after A380s.

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    1. They are probably cheap as chips.

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    2. I really hope at one point we find out how much the lease of these planes will cost. It must be an amazing deal if they are so fixated on these six old planes.

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    3. We will find out how much when we find out how much they paid for Darwin. I.e never.

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    4. We will probably how much they paid for Darwin from their financial report

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    5. I doubt it was more than they bought Adria for.

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  3. It seems Skywork also wanted these Saabs.

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  4. These guys have planes coming and going on a daily basis. I can't keep up.

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  5. JU should get some for INI, BNX, UZC, OMO

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  6. These planes will never fly for JP. They are now 23 years old and are actually good for scrap, nothing else. JP will never find enough crews and aircraft parts to continue to operate all 5 for a solid period. And just to operate 1 or 2 makes financially no sense.
    Adria has to be careful not to lose further on its reputation. Adria had quite some bad press in Switzerland with this Adria Switzerland, Bern adventure and two weeks ago in the leading travel industry magazine of Switzerland, an article was published: HAT ADRIA AIRWAYS EIN PROBLEM MIT DER SERVICE-QUALITAET?
    This is read by all airliners and travel agencies in Switzerland. Definitely hot helpful to cement the image again

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    1. I don't believe they would be advertising pilot positions for Saabs if they don't plan to put these aircraft into use.

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    2. Hope dies last, for Scheider and co as well ;-)

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    3. Hope dies last, for Scheider and co as well ;-)

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    4. @ AnonymousMay 9, 2018 at 9:20 AM

      Well, you obviously don't know 4K. They are trying to offload the company (ie selling it), which is why we are bombared with 'great' news from Adria on a weekly basis. The money they have set aside for managing the company is running out.

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    5. @9.34 and you sound like a conspiracy theorist

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  7. So Adria with turboprops for the first time in over 20 years?

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    1. Well not really. They used these planes during last year.

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    2. Did they used sell business class fares on these Saab planes?

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    3. Yes they did

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    4. In fact you can buy business class on routes they have the Saabs scheduled for after September.

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  8. These planes give them a lot more flexibility in my opinion to launch new routes. Much less of a risk. Allows them to develop a route before upgrading to the CRJ. I hope they manage to add them.

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  9. Skywork btw filed this complaint, cause they are interested themselves to operate those Saabs. Skywork is no better than JP, also their feputation suffrered in the past 2 years. Having such an image in todays competititve airline market is a killer

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    1. True. Wasn't their license revoked for some time as well?

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    2. FOCA issued them a limited license until they could prove financial stability. Now they are back to unlimited lic again

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    3. Cool. Thank you

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  10. 4ks strategy seems to be to grow and grow Adria but I am a bit concerned. They are talking about basing these planes in Switzerland and Germany and also about ACMI. They are starting to do more and more like Adria before it was privatized and I fear they will loose focus. Best to focus on Ljubljana and Slovenia.

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  11. Is JP still leasing Carpatiar plane and crew?

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    1. Thanks. Is this a long term wet lease?

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    2. It will probably be leased until these Saabs are added.

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    3. These wet leases can't be cheap.

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    4. True, but it's an Eastern European operator with ancient equipment. Can't be super expensive.

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  12. Experts are laughing at this - no serious airline would want to operate 20+ year old SAABs, this is a joke. As someone wrote a week ago: SAABs are going to be used as a cover to send the company into bankruptcy ('we had this wonderful strategy, but SAABs were instrumental').

    And this is in a way far worse than OU and ASL - with those two we are completely clear about the situation, whereas with Adria, nothing is known due to the accounting wizardry on their financial reports. The financial hole 4K is digging could be in tens of millions of euros.

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    1. I agree. This chasing of the Saabs is just odd. These aircraft are not that cheap to operate anymore.

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    2. Ten million loss was last year, in 2017. With hiking operational expenditures (hopeless growth efforts, wet leases, increasing oil prices) loss will probably hit twenty million or more in 2018.

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    3. They had a 10 million loss in 2017? Have they published this?

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    4. They officially published profit - they sold Adria brand name to themselves and noted it as income (hence profit). But in reality, they posted loss.

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    5. But this was financial results/book cooking for 2016. I think they still haven't published the ones for 2017.

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    6. There is a big difference. JP is a private company. Their potential failure is private issue. OU is state owned so it is a public issue. JU is majority public enterprise plus it is receiving huge amounts from public funds.

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  13. Test flights yesterday http://shrani.si/f/15/WU/42xm0I2c/11-vert.jpg

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    Replies
    1. Well finally a chance for Maribor to get some traffic :D

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  14. Once they add these planes, whenever that may be, I hope they change the livery to full JP colours.

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    Replies
    1. They should put an Adria logo on the tail.

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    2. The livery is the least of their worries at the moment.

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  15. This aeroplane type is really getting outdated.
    As of August 2016, a total of 35 Saab 2000s remained in airline service, operated by:

    Eastern Airways (7)
    Loganair (5)
    PenAir (5)
    BA CityFlyer(1)(operated by Eastern Airways)
    SkyWork Airlines(5)

    So, still 35 in service out of the 63 built IS NOT BAD AT ALL!
    In 2022, the aircraft will have its 30th birthday.

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    1. Where do they do the repairs for this aircraft. If one has a technical issue in Ljubljana what will they do?

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    2. If Skywork has them too, maybe in Switzerland? Considering there are a few European operators there must be some service center in Europe.

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    3. You only need one licenced engineer and some type-related equipment. And most of the aircraft today only need to see the engineer once every 24/48h if everything works.

      People think because Adria Tehnika at LJU, that you need a heavy maintenance base at every airport.

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  16. Mr. Inäbnit complains all the time about everything which goes not exactly to his plans at Skywork. He is terrible grumpy manager with poor social skills. By truth he has got the airline in terrible conditions from previous CEO, Croatian quasi expert Mr Lang who was able to spend 50milions at Skyfox with no positive results, but he is actually doing exactly the same. Bad kharma sort of speak.
    Big difference between Skywork and Darwin is that first was naver able to reach and do the businees for LX with demanding high LH standards on ACMI. Comparing the exyuairlines, JP is the only up to that standard, others not.
    Operating SAABs might be a joke particulary for those who believes the airline business is about happy high salary pilots, unions, new planes, expanded network etc, but the reality for existance in the third ligue of airline business is far away from ideas of quasi analysts with no porven industry business results.
    Operating within Switzerland for JP will be only possible via LX and not without someone opposing to it.
    Ex Darwin CEO Mr. Merlo, today CEO at LUG will do a lot to bring traffic back to the airport who was ironicaly cut by his decisions at Darwin/Etihad saga. I hope enemies became friends for the sake of business and public transportation.
    To those shitseackers who tries to dig into JP, start looking first at how the national airline who shall be in the national interest was sold below the table to competely shallow investor with no or poor know how. However, who says than not knowing is better than knowing shall have a look at the growth of an airline who is the only method to sustain in the airline business. This is valid for JP, OU, or LH, LX, FR, or whatsoever.

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    1. Best comment. Completely agree with your points.

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    2. wow, i bet my ass that this comment was written by someone from the management of Adria. Instead of writing comments, you can show us the financial report for 2017

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    3. Anon 10:29AM

      +1

      Or some interested politician. Long post, lots of words without telling anything. I actually had to read this comment 3 times just to figure out what he/she is trying to say.

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  17. I do wonder if 4K plans to buy any more airlines. There were rumors about Croatia Airlines, Montenegro Airlines and now Air Serbia.

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    1. If they are all used simply to grow Adria's fleet then I sure hope they don't.

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    2. If they bought OU or JU their focus would move from Adria to there as they are both bigger than Adria.

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    3. Adria is the only brand that would be acceptable to all nations in the region. However very hard to implement.

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  18. They have been talking about these Saabs for months and still nothing.

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  19. With Saabs, they cpould target secondary airports in exYu like BNX, OMO, TZL, INI with some incentives from local governments.

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    1. The last time they flew BNX 7-8 years ago they had barely any passengers. And they used the CRJ200 on the route.

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    2. There is little chance to get any incentive in Nis except low charges already in place.

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    3. I think that is sufficient.

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  20. I think Adria is on its way to recovery and is looking more and more as serious player in ex-Yu (again) despite what people comment.

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    1. So despite the facts.

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    2. What facts?

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    3. 1) No profit
      2) Cooked accounting books
      3) No strategy (new routes without the necessary equipment)
      4) Criminal investigation in Switzerland

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  21. The grounding of the Saabs is becoming problematic for Adria.

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  22. Maybe I missed it but why has it taken so long for them to add Saabs to the fleet?

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    1. Because bankruptcy proceedings need to be finished. Well now we will see if this complaint delays them further.

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    2. Last anon is correct. The saabs stopped flying the day Darwin declared bankruptcy.

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  23. They should use these planes and set up Adria Regional or something like that and fly them on nearby routes but still differentiate the product between their CRJ/Airbuses and these turboprops.

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    1. Why would they do that?

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    2. Considering Slovenia's geographic position, most of their routes are "regional"

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    3. That would only make sense if they were using a hybrid model on regional routes and were a full service airline on others but since they are not there is little point in it.

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  24. Anyone know how their new routes are performing?

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    1. Some fresh numbers would be appreciated :) hvala!

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  25. What has the world come to if we are reading about potential under the table deals happening in Switzerland??

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    1. Only people in the Balkans think there is no corruption anywhere else.

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    2. Bigger the economy...bigger the corruption.

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    3. Corruption is like Nutella. Same name for the East and the West, but different recipe and price :D

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    4. Also, in the west, some forms of it they legitimize by calling it lobbying or political contribution but it's essentially the same thing.

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  26. Does anyone have numbers for April for LJU?

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    1. Vedno 13. v mesecu objavijo.

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    2. I think it was at least 15% up...

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    3. Anon@1:51pm hvala 💪🏽🙏🏽

      I expect over 15% 🙏🏼 20% should be at least 🙈

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