Helvetic Airways has announced that it will be suspending operations effective immediately. The carrier has been severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak and with many other carrier’s suspending operations, Helvetic has felt the knock-on effect.
The coronavirus outbreak is already set to shape much of the future growth over the next couple of years at Helvetic Airways. The carrier has said that due to the outbreak, aircraft deliveries from Embraer will be delayed as production has slowed. Helvetic has orders for 12 Embraer E190-E2 aircraft, 3 of which have already been delivered. Deliveries were originally expected to run from 2019 to 2021, but it seems that that timetable will undoubtedly change.
The carrier has ‘put a brake’ on its growth but it assures that it is in a good position to return to operations as soon as the crisis is over.
Much of Helvetic Airways’ operation is based around wet-lease contracts with the likes of SWISS. The latter has made drastic cuts to its network, having a knock-on effect for regional partners such as Helvetic. The carrier says it is ‘unable to perform any wet-lease services at present on Swiss’s behalf. In view of this, the Management has resolved to temporarily cease all flight operations with immediate effect.”
Helvetic Airways operates a fleet of 14 aircraft comprising 11 Embraer E190s and 3 Embraer E190-E2s. The carrier will need a place to store them, following the footsteps of airlines around the globe. Significant examples of aircraft parking can be found in India and Germany, in which runways and taxiways are being used to store grounded planes.
In a statement to AeroNewsX, a Helvetic Airways spokesperson said: “Concerning the storage of the aircraft, it’s not decided yet, but Helvetic Airways is currently studying different scenarios for long-term parking in Altenrhein (ACH), Berne (BRN) or Payerne (LSMP). How many aircraft are concerned by the measures is still not yet defined at this stage of the process. Regarding a restart of our flight operations, it is still too early for the present to make any statement here.”
During these difficult times, our thoughts and best wishes go out to those affected directly and indirectly by the coronavirus outbreak. We also urge readers to continuously wash your hands and follow government advice in regards to hygiene.