Lithuanian airline Small Planet has been permanently grounded by the Lithuanian Civil Aviation Administration. The airline had been in the process of restructuring, laying off staff and selling off some of its aircraft in an attempt to continue flying.
Small Planet went into administration in October after its German, Polish and Cambodian subsidiaries filed for insolvency despite claiming “a successful and profitable operational performance” in 2018.
Since the demise of flyLAL in 2009 and Air Lituanica in 2015 Small Planet had become the de facto Lithuanian flag carrier. The airline was originally set up as flyLAL’s charter airline, operating flights primarily to popular holiday destinations. More than 2.7 million passengers flew with the airline in 2017.
Some of the carrier’s flights are set to be taken over by Vilnius-based charter carrier GetJet Airlines.
Small Planet’s demise once again leaves Lithuania without a scheduled airline. Last month, LOT Polish Airlines (LOT) was awarded a contract to operate flights connecting Vilnius to London City Airport. The route is being subsidised by and EU-approved special aid mechanism that will see LOT compensated if revenues do not cover the airline’s costs.