4 DECEMBER 2017
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A day after entering insolvency proceedings, Switzerland-based regional carrier Darwin Airline has had its air operator’s certificate (AOC) suspended by Swiss regulators.
The company, headquartered in Lugano, had planned to keep flying under its AOC while it reorganised, as allowed by Swiss law, but said on its website its operating licence had been “temporarily suspended”.
Darwin said the action was taken by the [Switzerland] Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), adding “therefore flights are currently not operating”. The airline said it was “working on a solution” to restart flying.
The Swiss aviation regulator said Darwin would still be allowed to operate wet-lease flights for another airline – something the carrier had said it wanted to focus on after it restructures – but its scheduled services between Lugano and Geneva were grounded.
Darwin, which formerly operated under the Etihad Regional brand, was acquired in July by Luxembourg-based private equity fund 4K Invest, which also owns Slovenia’s Adria Airways.
Darwin, which operates a fleet of six Saab 2000 and four ATR 72-500 turboprops, said 4K attempted to restructure the airline outside insolvency but “encountered several unfavourable market impacts” that led to the decision to enter insolvency.
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