Italy’s Blue Panorama enters bankruptcy protection

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Published: October 29, 2012

Italian civil aviation authority ENAC has downgraded Blue Panorama (BV) to a provisional license and given it 12 months to restructure under a form of bankruptcy protection.

BV is a privately owned scheduled and charter airline, which launched operations in 1998 and carried 2 million passengers in 2011. It has bases at Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa and Bologna and operates four Boeing 767-300ERs and six Boeing 737s (-300s and -400s). Some of the 737s operate for low-cost arm Blu-express, which was created in 2005.

However, citing a tough operating environment, BV said it has applied for the EU equivalent of Chapter 11 to “consolidate its financial and capital structure.”

“Blue Panorama Airlines and Blu-express will continue to operate their flight programs, honoring tickets and reservations as normal and continuing business partnerships with other airlines, tour operators and travel agent partners,” BV said in a statement.

On Oct. 23, Italian CAA ENAC granted BV’s application, giving it 12 months to restructure. BV’s full license has been suspended and replaced with a provisional version and ENAC will now perform monthly checks on BV’s operational, economic and financial position. Despite these changes, ENAC confirms that BV is continuing to fly as normal.

In January this year, Alitalia (AZ) announced plans to merge with both BV and another Italian operator, WindJet (IV) (ATW Daily News, Feb. 1). However, AZ subsequently called off the merger with both companies. IV recently ceased operations (ATW Daily News, Aug. 13).

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