Darwin Airlines (a former Etihad subsidiary) is grounded

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 29 Dec 2017
at 16:47

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  • AMcWhirter

    Etihad acquired Swiss carrier Darwin three years ago and renamed it Etihad Regional. The idea was for Etihad Regional to feed the mainline Etihad services (ex-Switzerland) from smaller airports both in Switzerland and nearby countries.

    The concept never worked and so Etihad sold off its subsidiary to Slovenian airline Adria who renamed it Adria Switzerland.

    Yesterday Adria announced that all Darwin flights would cease on December 31.

    But the latest development sees all the Darwin flights grounded because the Swiss CAA has withdrawn its operating licence. An alert has appeared on the website of Adriaairways.ch in the past few hours.

    It is unclear if or when the flights will resume.



    When I saw this I thought it may be for financial reasons and indeed it is.
    Darwin has gone into liquidation and it was Darwin that held the operators licence from the Swiss OFAC (CAA).


    The city of Lugano is very upset by this as this is the only link to/from Geneva apart from a 5 hour train ride or a 5 hour car ride made more difficult in winter due to mountain passes being closed. Or a flight via Zurich with Swiss, but this still takes about 3 hours as opposed to the short 25 minute flying time direct.

    As soon as the authorities are convinced of the financial viability of the route they will reinstate the licence to operate and from what I hear this will not take too long.
    We shall see.


    Survival of the fittest…


    Another poor EY decision…


    Adria Airways still exists, part of Star Alliance, the planes in Adria colours are parked at Lugano Airport (well at least one is) so I can’t see why they have stopped flying. The website is also gone. Traffic numbers to GVA were good as Swiss stopped flying the route and it’s a 5 hour train / car ride versus a short 20 minute flight, and so depended on by many locals. Will be interesting to see what happens now.


    Just heard that Skyworks, who operate among other routes, Berne – LCY, will operate 11 flights a week from Lugano to Geneva. It seems they will also operate Lugano – Berne with a possible onward connection to LCY, though this has not yet been approved. This could be a very popular alternative for local Luganese as Swiss is expensive and you have the hassle of Zurich airport.

    The beauty of Berne is you walk off one plane and then directly onto the next one without having to go through the terminal.


    “Darwin Airlines bankruptcy under criminal investigation” reports English language swissinfo.ch



    Talking to several people here, this likely has to do with the fact Darwin should have applied for bankruptcy or bankruptcy protection earlier. By law you must “depose your balance sheet” as it’s known here, as soon as the directors are aware the business is insolvent. They did not and thus prejudiced employees, suppliers and the offices of social security.

    Being criminal opens up the possibility of the directors being made personally liable for those debts.

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