The withdrawal of a route licence following an incident involving a Belfast-bound Citywing flight during Storm Doris last month has prompted the airline’s liquidation, with all flights grounded permanently.
Citywing Aviation Services Limited., which flew from George Best Belfast City Airport to the Isle of Man, connecting to Blackpool and Gloucester, announced on Saturday, that all flights from March 11, have been cancelled.
The directors of the airline said the withdrawal of its Czech-registered operator, Van Air’s, route licence by the Civil Avaiation Authority (CAA) following an ‘incident’ during heavy winds last month made it impossible to find sufficient aircraft to fulfil its contracts.
Citywing had already confirmed the incident related to its “Van Air-operated flight 502 [which] took off from the Isle of Man destined for Belfast on February 23 but returned due to deteriorating weather conditions in Northern Ireland”.
Citywing were advised by Van Air at the time that the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had requested to speak with Van Air following the incident, it said.
Now the airline is blaming the incident for forcing the firm into liquidation.
In a statement released this morning it said: “As a result of Van Air losing their route licenses on Friday, February 24, 2017, the company has found it difficult to source suitable viable aircraft to fulfil our contracts.
“The company has tried to offer a service whilst suffering considerable losses but these have proved unfortunately to be commercially unsustainable.
“It is therefore with much sadness and deep regret that the Directors of Citywing Aviation Services Limited have had to take the difficult decision to close the company today and put the company into liquidation. This decision has not been taken lightly and has been made to protect creditors.”
Citywing says anyone booked on one of its services will be going nowhere.
“We request that you do not turn up at the airports for your flights as there will be no one to assist.
“A liquidator will be appointed and they will advise in due course on how to get a refund on your tickets.
“There will also be guidance on the UK CAA website from Monday, March 13, 2017.”