The Cimber Sterling airline has been filed for bankruptcy following a decision
by its owners not to continue to support the airline.
The airline’s collapse comes following a couple of years of economic
turbulence and with major losses.
Last year, the company returned losses of DKK200million, despite an injection
of funds and takeover in July 2011 by Ukrainian financier Igor Kolomojsky.
Last month, the company announced layoffs of 200 employees and the closure of
several southern European routes.
Cimber Sterling said earlier on its website that Danes who have purchased
flights abroad at a travel agency should contact their agency in order to
find out how to return to Denmark.
Those who have purchased bankruptcy insurance will be able to have their
The news of Cimber Sterling’s bankruptcy caused such major traffic to Cimber
Sterling’s site, that of the Charter Travel Appeals Tribunal and of the
Travel Guarantee Fund that all three sites crashed.
Both the Tribunal and Fund sites have set up a temporary site saying:
“If you are stuck abroad: If you purchased bankruptcy insurance when you
purchased your ticket, and this is clear from your ticket, the Fund will be
responsible for getting you home. You should contact SOS International which
is helping the fund arrange transport home. The number to ring at SOS
International is +45 38489345.
If you did not purchase bankruptcy insurance for your ticket when you
purchased it, the Fund is unfortunately unable to help you get home and you
must arrange this yourself”.
Telephone lines to SOS International, the Tribunal and Fund are currently
under heavy pressure .
SOS has set up a task force to handle the many calls.
Domestic traffic affected
Cimber Sterling’s bankruptcy has left four Danish domestic airports
without flights to Copenhagen. Cimber Sterling was the only airline to
service Bornholm, Sønderborg, Billund and Karup.
“Cimber had an important role in the Danish infrastructure because they fed
Copenhagen Airport with passengers for routes out of the country,” says Ole
Kirchert Christensen of Travelbroker.
“Right now there are four domestic airports without aircraft,” he adds.
Aarhus and Aalborg are still being serviced, as these are serviced by SAS,
which is introducing extra aircraft onto the route. Passengers from Aalborg
are also able to use Norwegian.
“It is vital either that Cimber Sterling is reconstructed or that other
operators take over the routes,” Kirchert Christensen says.
Cimber Sterling’s CEO Jan Palmer says in a news release that the company
will be working with the insolvency administrator to attempt a
reconstruction and continuation of at least some of the assets in the
“Our proposal to the administrator is that we initially and as a minimum
maintain our flights with four aircraft on the regional routes that we
service for SAS. At the same time we are proposing that with the
administrator we investigate the possibility of getting more aircraft into
the air in order to secure a larger part of the assets of the company for a
possible new interested party,” Jan Palmer tells Ritzau Finans.
According to Ritzau Finans, Cimber Sterling has 832 employees and 26 aircraft.
“It is deeply unfortunate that the company Board has had to take the decision
to file for bankruptcy. The Board and senior executives have been working
intensely for several months to bring about turnaround. Unfortunately time
ran out before we achieved our goal,” Palmer tells Ritzau Finans.
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