Astraeus Airlines in Administration

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by trentside, 23 Nov 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    3,154
    Joined:
    14 Aug 2010
    Location:
    The back cab
    Crawley based Astraeus Airlines have entered administration and ceased operations today (22/11/11). In recent years the company had specialised in wet-leasing its aircraft to other carriers and was noted for employing Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson as a captain on its Boeing 757 fleet.

    The airline blamed a lack of winter contracts and technical issues for its problems.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-15826951

    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    Just a slight update on this, the BBC have published a story with comments from Bruce Dickinson saying he is looking at possibly resurrecting the airline or starting a venture of his own, alongside a flight training service.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-15847720
     
    Last edited: 23 Nov 2011
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

    Messages:
    287
    Joined:
    2 May 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere
    A shame.

    Never used them, but from an onlookers perspective they were an interesting operation and their fleet certainly led a varied life.
     
  4. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,253
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    They used to operate many charter flights on behalf of package holiday tour firms, however they shifted their business to ACMI leasing (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) a few years ago.

    A shame to lose them as they were a reputable carrier. I wonder what this means for Icelandic budget airline Iceland Express, who lease all four of their aircraft from Astraeus.
     
  5. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

    Messages:
    287
    Joined:
    2 May 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Always seems that there is a market for this kind of player -for example Titan have been around for years.

    But my guess is they maybe over expanded and didnt have enough work to support their cost base. It's a fine line between growing a company of this type in order to take advantage of the cost reductions that come from size, and being too overstretched to weather a downturn.
     
  6. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,253
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    Yes, there's certainly a market for ACMI, however Titan have been careful to spread their risk. Not only do they offer leasing, they provide a short notice sub-charter service to airlines (in case of sudden aircraft shortages e.t.c), in addition to their own charter contracts (ski flights, Lourdes pilgrimages e.t.c). They also have mail flights.

    In the case of Astraeus, there's lots of competition. Airlines have a wide choice of European ACMI providers offering lower rates. For example, Thomas Cook Airlines have used Astraeus in the past, however recently they've used a Lithuanian airline called Aurela and a Spanish airline called Mint Airways.
     
  7. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

    Messages:
    287
    Joined:
    2 May 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere
    agreed, and some of their previous contracts have run their course. bmi for obvious reasons, and easyjet was really only to resolve the timekeeping issues when their new CEO arrived.

    but like i say, a great shame.
     
  8. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Exeter
    The Hajj moving into the European summer season hasn't helped, a lot of charter airlines (including TOM, TCX and MON) would send aircraft out to the middle east during the lean winter months. ie Monarch have A330s doing Indonesia to Jeddah and Astraeus's final flight was a Hajj trip. Now that valuable source of extra work is drying up for the next 15ish years.
     
  9. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,253
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    Indeed, the Hajj is another factor.

    I don't think Monarch and Thomas Cook operated the flights themselves, I believe it was a leasing agreement with Garuda Indonesia Airlines. Every year you'd see TC or MON planes at Manchester with "Garuda Indonesia" on the side.

    I'd imagine that firms like Onur Air (Turkey) and Hellenic Imperial (Greece) will pick up much of the Hajj charter traffic from Europe, as many of the European holiday airlines are in the same position as the UK ones.
     
  10. 12CSVT

    12CSVT Established Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Joined:
    18 Aug 2010
    Sorry about the cynicism, but I suspect that Astraeus is attracting all the headlines because one of its pilots happened to be famous many decades ago.
     
  11. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,374
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Who would that be? It can't be Dickinson because he's famous to this day and a legend amongst metal fan
     
  12. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Exeter
    Maiden's most successful period has been the last 10 years and they are still producing new Material (their latest being "The Final Frontier" which came out last year and was No1 in 28 countries)
     
  13. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,179
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
  14. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,253
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    It will be interesting to see what happens here. I wouldn't be overly confident that this will come to much.

    The (former) owners of Astraeus - Icelandic travel group Eignarhaldsfelagid Fengur appears to have continued trading. Their other airline, Iceland Express, based at Reykjavik-Keflavik airport, has leased two Airbus A320s from CSA Czech Airlines. They previously used four Boeing 737-300s from Astraeus.
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2011
  15. Blue Pool Halt

    Blue Pool Halt Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    12 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Poole, Dorset.
    Astraeus Airlines took over the 'Palmair / Bath Travel' Charter flights from Bournemouth that were originally operated by the now down sized European Aviation. Palmair having abandoned any of its own charter flights.

    European Aviation still operate from Bournemouth, but their operations are more to do with converting aircraft for the luxury market and maintenance - so maybe Astraeus Airlines can follow in the maintenance side too.
     
  16. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,253
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    I must admit that I thought European Aviation were long gone. I am glad they are still operating, albeit in a slightly different corner of the market.

    Palmair were an interesting little airline. One aircraft on Sun/Ski holiday charters from Bournemouth, yet they won the title (from Which?) of the 3rd best airline in the world, tied with Air New Zealand! :lol: They went as the recession struck and as Ryanair were flooding the market with cheap seats to sunspots from Bournemouth.:|
     
  17. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    3,154
    Joined:
    14 Aug 2010
    Location:
    The back cab
    I was sad to learn of Palmair's demise - I'd always hoped to arrange to take a flight with them, as the whole operation sounded so quaint. As I understand it, the parent company Bath Travel is still trading but now selling seats on other operators flights - their MD apparently said 'never say never' to the airline one day starting operations again.
     
  18. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Exeter
    Yep, Bath Travel have a string of shops across the South West, they are still chartering airliners for their own tours.
     
  19. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,253
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    Yes, Bath Travel is indeed still trading. A rare example of an independent travel agent, where all bookings are through an agent in a branch or over the phone. I suspect they now have a contract with Thomson Airways for some of the Palmair work from Bournemouth.

    Palmair does sound quaint, but these tiny airlines are just not economically viable if they don't operate on niche routes. Bournemouth Airport courted Ryanair and with their low cost base, they are able to "pile 'em high, and sell 'em cheap!". Many people will be quite happy with this, especially in the midst of a recession.

    I can understand why MAG-group did court Ryanair though, they were opening a new terminal and with expansion plans, they saw Ryanair as a way of expanding their portfolio of routes from the airport. This did backfire considerably though, since Ryanair soon culled their 'city routes' (e.g. Milan, Frankfurt-Hahn e.t.c) and went for 'holiday sun routes' (Malaga, Alicante e.t.c) which were tried and tested from Bournemouth. Plus, now they only operate during peak season from Bournemouth!
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2011
  20. Blue Pool Halt

    Blue Pool Halt Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    12 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Poole, Dorset.
    Yes, I was speaking to a customer on Thursday who works at European Aviation and he explained that they are busy with aircraft conversions and possibly looking to expand again - you may remember that they purchased a few 747s before they went down hill.

    Ryanair flooded the winter sun market from Bournemouth - then pulled out of Bournemouth for the 3 winter months that Palmair used to cater for.
     
  21. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

    Messages:
    287
    Joined:
    2 May 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere
    For a long while I wondered why they purchased the 747s. They seemed to enjoy a few different colour schemes then all but disappeared. Anyone know what they were used for by European, and why many seemed to end up with the scrapper?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page