Bern Airport launches ‘flyBAIR’ virtual airline following SkyWork grounding

    Bern Belp Airport announced (01-Nov-2019) plans to launch ‘flyBAIR‘, a start up virtual airline to operate to holiday destinations from Bern including Jerez, Heraklion, Kos, Palma de Mallorca, Menorca, Olbia, Preveza, Cagliari and Rhodes form autumn 2020. The carrier also aims to be able to serve a European hub, such as Munich, Amsterdam or London, from autumn 2020. The airline is a joint project with various partners following the grounding of SkyWork Airlines (Blick.ch, 01-Nov-2019). Tour operators Aaretal Reisen, Belpmoos Reisen, Buchard Voyages, Hotelplan, TUI Group and VT Vacances will offer seasonal connections to destinations with high demand in recent years from Bern. flyBAIR will be responsible for marketing, Lions Air will handle operations and German Airways will lease Embraer E190 and Bombardier Q400 aircraft in winter and summer respectively. Zeitfracht Group CEO and German Airways MD Wolfram Simon said flyBAIR is an “innovative and exciting project… for the city of Bern and the entire region”. Bern Airport CEO and flyBAIR board member said the airline will have a “lean structure” with relatively low fixed costs and a focus on seasonal demand while avoiding aircraft ownership issues and deploying “only as much capacity as is required”. The airline will gather start up capital via crowd funding, in addition to funding of CHF250,000 (EUR227,052) provided by Bern Airport. It has 30 days remaining to gather start up funding of CHF1 million (EUR908,206) with the aim of acquiring a total CHF2.5 million (EUR2.3 million), according to its official website, and close to 7% of funding already received at 01-Nov-2019.