Show article as a PDF. Lufthansa, Air France and half a dozen other airlines, together with trade unions, are calling for a Social Agenda for European Aviation. The partners adopted a corresponding position paper at the beginning of October. The background to this is the fierce competition that is rife in aviation. The result is that those airlines that have an attractive range of offers and their costs under control are gaining market share. Problems arise when companies systematically rely on atypical employment models — such as bogus self-employment.
Brussels and the single member states should take action against such business practices. On their home market, EU airlines also have to compete with airlines that — from a European perspective — deny their employees important rights. The Lufthansa Group employs , people worldwide, with more than , of them in Europe.
The company fulfils its responsibility despite being under great competitive pressure:. The was used for routes to London and Paris. At the end of , the airline expanded to Hungary by launching a subsidiary SkyEurope Hungary. This was also the year that brought rumours that SkyEurope had held talks with Niki Lauda, the former Formula 1 driver, who founded the airline company Lauda Air which later merged with Austrian Airlines.
Lauda confirmed to the Sme daily in that the talks had been held in I did not want to be a marketing tool so I decided to launch my own airline. In , SkyEurope recorded strong revenue growth as well as a skyrocketing increase in the number of passengers, both of which exceeded expectations. The company carried over 8 times more passengers than the previous year, a total of , people.
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SkyEurope benefited from its expansion in the central European region, especially in Poland where it opened its fifth hub in Krakow. It had one Boeing in Krakow and three aircraft in Warsaw. The Budapest hub was also doing well: in one year, SkyEurope carried , passengers to 10 European cities with a load factor up to 78 percent, using three aircraft from Budapest, two Boeings and one Embraer. The finances were supplied by institutional investors from Great Britain and continental Europe.
But at the beginning of the company was also forced to add special fuel surcharges. Then the European Union issued a new directive regarding passenger rights in the airline industry which had a negative impact on SkyEurope. The directive required that passengers were entitled to compensation in the event of delayed or cancelled flights along with meals and the right to make two free phone calls or send an e-mail.
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Furthermore, if a carrier cancelled a flight, it was required to fully refund the ticket and the passengers were eligible for further compensations. This rule influenced many low-cost carriers, including SkyEurope. In that year SkyEurope ordered 32 new Boeing Next Generation aircraft able to carry passengers. The second part involved purchase rights on aircraft to be supplied in and It was the biggest order for aircraft in central Europe at that time.
But future circumstances prevented SkyEurope from fulfilling the whole contract. The holding company had its headquarters in Vienna and continued in operation until September The company offered As the demand for SkyEurope shares was thought to be high, the existing shareholders offered an option purchase for another 1. The entire transaction was monitored by the investment division of Bank Austria Creditanstalt as well as by the German Sal.
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Oppenheim bank. The analysts thought that SkyEurope could achieve a balanced economic result in and SkyEurope itself expected the turnaround to come in when it expected to generate its first profit. The number of passengers had also grown rapidly, more than doubling. In the fiscal year the number of passengers was 1.
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The newly issued shares of stock did not perform well in and even though the share price was falling company management did not consider the situation to be dramatic. At that time he served as the CEO of the company and he also expressed his belief that it was a good step for SkyEurope to be listed on the Vienna and Warsaw stock markets. Despite losses, Vienna hub is launched In , five years after its founding, media began to report regularly on the losses of SkyEurope.
Economic commentators analysing the situation were asking whether the rapid growth of the company and the planned purchases of so many larger aircraft were good moves. CEO Mandl, apparently aware also of the serious situation, decided to slow the growth of the airline. Investors began to fear potential liquidity problems for SkyEurope in and started selling their shares.
Nearly 9 million shares were purchased by the York Global Finance II fund which focuses on investments in the aviation market. York purchased a 23 percent share of the company at that time and still holds its major share in the bankrupt airline today. SkyEurope then made the first profit in its history. In , the company ordered five more Boeing NGs bringing its total order to 26 aircraft.
Attempts were made to launch flights from Budapest, Hungary; Krakow, Poland; and Vienna, Austria, but all of these were abandoned due to lack of demand. As the carrier fell further and further into debt, the advertisements became more and more desperate. After that ad campaign failed, the airline turned to selling the sides of aircraft for advertisers, which was also not very popular. In a last-ditch effort, the airline ran a marketing deal with various supermodels, including Adriana Kaermbeu of Slovakia and Laky Zsuzsanna of Hungary, to appear on the sides of their Boeing s.
This marketing idea did not sit well with feminist activists, who called using the models to market the carrier as a cheap and sexist strategy.
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Out of ideas and having never turned a profit, SkyEurope went bankrupt on September 1, The airline had attempted to claim creditor protection earlier in the year, but due to the debt that SkyEurope had gained, it still left the carrier seeing aircraft seized by airports in the months leading up to its demise. Due to the sudden stoppage of operations, relief flights were made with carriers like Wizz Air, Ryanair and Malev doing most of the relief work.
Unfortunately, the city of Bratislava received the worse end of the deal with the bankruptcy of SkyEurope. The major issue was that Slovak Airlines had also gone bankrupt due to increasing competition with SkyEurope, closing operations back in With no carriers left in Bratislava, the airport suffered until Wizz Air and Ryanair moved in to provide low-cost options for the city a few years later.