Five Biggest Airline Bankruptcies Of 2019

2019 has been an especially rough year for airlines. This video breaks down five of the biggest airline bankruptcies in 2019. Enjoy!

Or here’s the textual version:


Headquartered in Berlin, Germania launched operations in September of 1978 and ceased operations on February 5th, 2019. Germania declared bankruptcy the day before ceasing operations.

Germania had bases in airports such as Berlin, Dussseldorf, Munich, and more.

At the time of its bankruptcy, Germania operated a fleet of:

  • 19 A319s
  • 6 A321s
  • 5 737-700s.

In 2016, Germania ordered 25 Airbus A320neo aircraft set to be delivered in 2020, but were never delivered due to the bankruptcy.



Flybmi was originally the regional subsidiary of British Midland International (BMI) until BMI was acquired by the IAG Group. The airline was headquartered in East Midlands Airport and operated a fleet of 3 ERJ-135s and 14 ERJ-145s.
The airline filed for administration and ceased operations on February 16, 2019.

WOW Air:

WOW Air, the revolutionary Icelandic airline commenced operations in May 2012 and ceased operations on March 28, 2019 due to ongoing financial difficulties. WOW Air rapidly expanded in the past summers which resulted in the airline quickly reducing its network in Winter 2018/19.

The airline launched service from Reykjavik (KEF) to cities in the U.S. like:

  • Pittsburgh
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Miami
  • St. Louis
  • San Francisco

And many more.

At one point, WOW Air operated a fleet of A320, A321, A321neo, and A330 aircraft before returning most to its lessors.

WOW Air was supposed to take delivery of four Airbus A330-900neo aircraft but never did and cancelled the orders. Two A330neo aircraft are now operated by Indonesian CitiLink.

Currently, former WOW employees are attempting to revive the airline as PLAY


Jet Airways:

Jet Airways was India’s largest commercial airline with a 22.6% market share until collapsing on April 17, 2019. The airline was based in Mumbai and had hubs in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru.

At the time of its bankruptcy, Jet Airways’ fleet consisted of: (Per Wiki)

  • 4 A330-200s, 4 A330-300s
  • 15 ATR-72-500s, 3 ATR-72-600s
  • 2 Boeing 737-700s, 72 737-800s, 4 737-900s
  • 8 737 MAX 8s
  • 10 777-300ERs

On Order:

  • 142 737 MAX 8s
  • 75 737 MAX 9s
  • 10 787-9s


Thomas Cook Airlines:

Finally, this one. Thomas Cook ceased operations and declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019. The recovery process spurred the need to assist 165,000 stranded passengers and 21,000 employees that lost their jobs.

At the time of its bankruptcy, Thomas Cook operated a fleet of 27 A321s and 7 A330-200s.

However, its subsidiaries still fly today:

  • Condor announced a modified livery, removing the Thomas Cook Heart.
  • Thomas Cook Scandinavia was rebranded into Sunclass Airlines

Image Credits to Boeing (Jet Airways), Airbus (WOW Air/Germania), Flybmi, and Thomas Cook

Overall, not a great year for many airlines in 2019, especially with the 737 MAX groundings. Good luck to airlines in 2020!


My 2 only pics of a Thomas Cook A330 in my July vacation at Orlando Intl. Airport


I think some aircrafts will be sold to another airlines like a former WOW A330 will be send to Turkish Airlines.


2019 wasn’t a good year for many European airlines and the market outlook remains turbulent to say the least. That’s part of the industry though unfortunately and we see that the aircrafts are needed as the general demand is still rising.

Nonetheless consolidation (as we see it in Europe and elsewhere) is extremely hurtful for employees and customers of those airlines who don’t manage to stay afloat during the process.

Thanks for reminding us of five of the most significant from 2019.


I think the most interesting bankruptcy in my opinion would be WOW Air. They were one of the fastest growing airlines I’ve ever seen and looked like they could’ve become a strong competitor against IcelandAir with their bright pink livery, then they just disappeared on March. It was a strange feeling when the popular airline just faded from existence. But then they come back as PLAY and it just surprises me. I thought they had no chance of coming back like the other airlines mentioned on this list, but I guessed wrong and we’ll see WOW 2.0 or PLAY come back to compete one more time, and hopefully become successful.

Great post!!


I also hope so


Well they all accomplished the 0 carbon emissions goal. In all seriousness, it sucks to see them go especially the iconic WOW air and Thomas Cook. Europe is perhaps one of the hardest places to get a successful airline off the ground these days imo. There is so much competition and well flown airlines that dwarf the emerging airlines. I personally think WOW air shot themselves in the foot by expanding more than they were capable of. Should of took their time


Didn’t Germania end up as Chair?

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My only TC pic. Sorry it’s not a very good one.


Ironically, I think that aircraft just suffered a runway excursion on its first flight. It’s like WOW is cursing the aircraft lol.

Yup, i found it.

Germania Switzerland did become Chair, but Germania itself (the main part, the German airline) hasn’t been relaunched (just most of the airframes are now sold/leased to new customers by the lessors/flying for other carriers).

This was definitely not good for Jet Airways, knowing that they knew their financial crisis and how it would affect them poorly.

Ah okay. Thats why chair is where germania used to be at Zurich flughafen.

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