Star Alliance carrier Spanair stopped all flights last night and this morning a message on its website says: “We inform you that as far as we can Spanair will remain their sales offices in the airports open.” The Barcelona-based airline has agreed “special fares” to certain destinations with other Spanish carriers Air Europa, Iberia and Vueling.
Flightglobal.com reports that Qatar Airways had been negotiating to save the airline, but that these collapsed.
Spanair was previously owned by SAS, which sold the majority of its shares in 2009 to a Catalonian consortium.
Today’s Spanair website communication reads: “We inform you that as far as we can Spanair will remain their sales offices in the airports open. Open hours: Barcelona: 04:45 – 14:30; Madrid: 05:00 – 18:45. Other offices in Spain will be open if due to security reasons it is possible. As far as you can, we ask you to avoid going to the airports and try to manage your claims via the customer care center. The customer care telephone could be temporally saturated, we will attend you as well and fast as we can.”
The Spanish government has now launched legal action against Spanair for allegedly violating aviation regulations by suddenly ceasing operations. Development Minister Ana Pastor said yesterday that two “serious infringements” of aviation security legislation could lead to the airline being fined €9 million.
An estimated 22,000 passengers with seats booked on more than 220 cancelled flights have been left looking for alternative arrangements and instructions on how to seek reimbursements.