A Berlin court has appointed insolvency firm Voigt Salus to oversee the administration of the local arm of Lithuania-based charter airline Small Planet, which says it expanded too quickly in Germany following Air Berlin’s demise.

Small Planet Airlines Germany announced on 18 September it will continue to fly, despite filing for insolvency at the District Court of Berlin-Charlottenburg the same day. The court’s notice of appointment is available in German.

In a press statement on 19 September, Voigt Salus founder Joachim Voigt-Salus said Germany’s Federal Aviation Authority (LBA) did not object to the company continuing to fly while it worked out its debts.

“The company is working on a solution to maintain flight operations in the long term,” the administrator added.

LBA media officer Cornelia Cramer told ALN’s sister publication Global Restructuring Review the authority is assessing the airline’s financial situation and examining the status of its operating licence.

Small Planet Group is based in Lithuania and has 400 staff and 29 aircraft. It flies mainly to the Mediterranean and has other subsidiaries in Poland and Cambodia.

The non-German companies will also continue to fly during the insolvency proceedings, the company said.

In a statement on 18 September, Small Planet Group CEO Vytautas Kaikaris said the airline tried to expand too quickly to take advantage of Air Berlin’s collapse in August 2017.

Kaikaris said his company tried to almost double its size, but “struggled to manage this successfully”. Late delivery of aircraft before the summer season, a crew shortage, unreliable sub-charter aircraft and unforeseeable technical events had “a devastating impact on a very intense schedule”.

“The financial losses incurred by the German company forced it to file for a restructuring process under the German law,” Kaikaris said.

The German company was granted its flight operating licence in April 2016. It operates from Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Leipzig and Paderborn Lippstadt airports, as well as in Egypt and the Netherlands.

In the District Court of Berlin-Charlottenburg

Small Planet Airlines Germany

Administrator to Small Planet Airlines Germany

  • Voigt-Salus

Founding partner Joachim Voigt-Salus in Berlin