Financial Difficulties Behind AtlasGlobal Flight Suspension

Turkish airline AtlasGlobal has suspended all its flight services effective today. In a statement released this evening, the airline has confirmed no more flights will operate until the 21st December, 2019. Ticket sales have also been suspended until the 16th December. It appears the airline is in difficulties financially, and is attempting to undertake an emergency restructuring in order to ensure its survival.

AtlasGlobal A321
AtlasGlobal has suspended all flights. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia

AtlasGlobal announces flight suspension

As of today, AtlasGlobal has suspended all services, and will not be flying for almost a month. The airline is reported to have released a statement today at 19:30 local time, stating that It will no longer fly. The suspension of services is said to be until the 21st December 2019.

Initially, the airline had announced service suspension until the 16th of December. The statement was shared on local aviation news site Kokpit.aero:

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“We regret to inform you that we had to suspend all our flights as of November 26, 2019 until December 16, 2019 in order to provide the necessary configuration and improvement in our cash flow. All operational processes that will be carried out within the company by this date will be carried out with minimum number of personnel and the personnel will be determined by the unit managers and will be informed by telephone this evening.

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“All of our employees, except our on-call staff, will be considered as “on leave” until Monday, December 16th. Our staff, who will be on duty as of tomorrow, will have to meet their service and food needs with their own means and will be informed about this process in the coming days. In this process, salary payments will be made on the day.”

AtlasGlobal
AtlasGlobal will not fly until December 21st. Photo: Marvin Mutz via Flickr

Announced through to 21st December

However, a subsequent statement from the airline says that the suspension will actually be in force until the 21st of December. This statement, as carried by TurizmGuncel, reads,

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Terrorist incidents and treacherous coup attempt in our country between 2015-2016 caused major wounds in the aviation sector and caused significant losses in the number of passengers carried and passenger revenues including 2017. Following the unfavorable period for the tourism sector, which is the driving force of the aviation sector, the recovery process that started in 2018 continued with the support of security perception and the improvement in political relations with the main markets. The effects of the measures taken in this regard have also started to reflect positively on the aviation sector.

These tragic events in 2015-2016 had a negative impact on our airline both operationally and commercially. In addition, the rapid and aggressive fluctuations in the Turkish Lira in the second half of 2018 negatively affected the dynamics of the domestic market, which led to a decrease in the demand for air travel.

AtlasGlobal cabin crew
Cabin crew and other employees are left wondering what will happen next. Photo: Oleg V. Belyakov via Wikimedia

In spite of the unfavorable adversities, in the second half of 2018, within the framework of the new strategic decisions taken by our airline, a recovery process was initiated and our operations became profitable again. However, the recent past negativity and the economic burden it brought along with the increase in logistics and operational costs with the transition to Istanbul Airport as of April 2019 have eliminated the possibility of compensating our 2016/2017 losses in sufficient time for our airline.

In order to provide the necessary configuration and improvement in our cash flow, we would like to inform you that we had to suspend all our flights as of November 26, 2019 until December 21, 2019.

In this process, we will make the necessary determinations about the tickets purchased by the passengers who cannot be realized until 15.12.2019. On 16 December 2019, we will notify you by email about the steps to be taken for your passengers’ return and change requests.

You can forward your questions and requests for changes or cancellations of your future flights to the e-mail address [email protected] with the pnr number.

Ticket sales from all of our sales channels will be closed until 16.12.2019.

So what’s going on?

It appears that the suspension of ticket sales will be until the 16th, while actual flights will not resume operation until the 21st December. It appears that the airline is in dire financial trouble, and that extensive restructuring will be required in order to keep it afloat.

Atlas Global A330
The airline flies one A330 to Schiphol on a codeshare with KLM. Photo: Juke Schweizer via Wikimedia

AtlasGlobal has been a major codeshare partner of KLM since 2017, flying a route between Schiphol and Istanbul under KLM’s codes. This summer, it was flying this route daily using an A330. Simple Flying has reached out to KLM to see how their connections will be affected by this suspension, and will update the article once we hear back.

AtlasGlobal is not a new airline. It has been around since 2001, and is headquartered in Istanbul. Aside of flying to KLM’s hub in the Netherlands, AtlasGlobal flies to 27 other destinations, including London, Paris, France, Germany and destinations across the Middle East and Russia. It operates a fleet of 18 aircraft, 13 of which are the A321-200, along with three A320s, one A319 and one widebody A330.

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TomTFNL

Another one bites the dust

Emre

So sad. Couldn’t compete with the Turkish Airlines and strongly growing Pegasus.

Luke Mellor

This is a shamble… i have booked with them. There is no way to really reach out, no clear communication. European companies can actually provide some assurances, I wonder what can be done for people like myself who they took money for the ticket and now having financial difficulties with bad management and inability to compete.

Any ideas?

Bryce

You didn’t have travel insurance?
Alternatively: if you booked with a credit card, you can file a claim with the card company.

Ali

any advise how to claim it from a credit card provider? thanks!

Milad

What the heck???!! They cancelled my flight and no one is answering. They say that I have to wait until Dec 16 for refund. Any help?
P.S. I did not buy insurance for the airline bankruptcy (what’s the chance of it), and closed my credit card that I purchased this ticket with.

Hamed

Did you receive an email about the cancelation? I booked a ticket for a flight on December 21st and I don’t know whether my flight is canceled or not?

natalie

I actually purchased all the different types of insurance offered to me by edreams – and noone is taking responsibility – people be warned avoid edreams.com at all costs because they are liars!

Irza

they cancelled my flight as well. i booked through 3rd party company and they told me that i`ll get full refund.

it was literally screwed up my itinerary.

i have another flight with atlas global to Moscow on 2nd Feb, but currently stil waiting further info from my 3rd party company.

Ali Al Jumaah

My flight is on the 14th of December. I purchased through a third party company. No one has a clue on what’s next. Can I ask the third party to find me alternative. They should have a share of the responsibility for this shamble shouldn’t they? not me

Mohammad Ethari

If you have purchased the ticket through a third party company, you should be covered by ATOL protection and can claim the refund through them.

Hamid

We booked a ticket for December 21st. With this vague statement that Atlasglobal has published on the website, we are not certain whether flights on the day of 21st are also canceled or not?! All our emails to the Atlasglobal have been left unresponded. Does anybody have any clue?!

Oleksandr

Please share with us if you get any update on your trip. thank you. Hope everything works out.

Thamir

My flight is on 14th of December. I purchased the ticket through a third party. I sent many emails to Atlasglobal but they don’t reply. I contacted the the third party company, they said they are not responsible for any cancellation made by Atlasglobal. I feel I am ripped off.

Farnaz

Have you received any news from airline?

Thamir

They don’t answer phone calls or reply to emails

Elaine

We were set to fly with atlas on the 5th December and received news of suspension just one week before, was really disappointed. We tried contacting the call center as we were told but emails kept being returned. We are waiting like everyone else to see If we still get flights at another date. But we are one of the lucky ones we did pay direct to airline by credit card so should get money back if no other flight offered,it just messed up our Christmas with family as we couldn’t get any other flights that were within budget. Let’s… Read more »

Bita

I also bought 2 tickets in 14 dec from a third party company. Unfortunately no one is answering neither by email nor telephone. We also don’t have any insurance.

Mauricio

As I see from the news they are back again.