Spanish airline Spanair goes bust, strands passengers

A board displayes information on canceled Spanair's flights at El Prat International Airport in Barcelona.

Story highlights

  • The last Spanair flight landed on Friday evening
  • Other Spanish airlines are offering extra seats and special fares to help ease the situation
  • Madrid and Barcelona airports do not report large numbers of stranded passengers
Spanish airline Spanair went bust early Saturday, forcing many passengers to find seats on flights with other airlines at short notice.
Spanair "announced that it has ceased its operations, and thus, it has suspended all its flights from 2 a.m. Saturday (8 p.m. ET Friday)," Spanish airport operator AENA said on its website.
The airline said its last flight had landed at 10 p.m. Friday.
"Because of a lack of visible financing in the next couple of months, the company has chosen to cease the operation of its flights as a prudent and secure measure, and it will now take all legal pertinent measures," Spanair said in a statement.
"The management of Spanair is sorry and apologizes to all those who are affected by this situation."
A spokeswoman at Madrid's Barajas Airport said there were not large numbers of stranded passengers there, and that other airlines have been able to get passengers on to other flights.
A spokesman for Barcelona's El Prat airport said about 20 Spanair planes were sitting on the tarmac at the old terminal.
Normally there would have been 27 outbound Spanair flights from the airport Saturday, and passengers on 15 of them have been able to get other flights with other companies, the spokesman said.
The airport has received 105 complaints from passengers wanting their money back, he said.
A special area has been set up at the airport where Spanair passengers have been able to get help but they have not been gathering in large numbers, he said.
Spanair, which is headquartered in Barcelona, said those who were due to fly with it should get in touch via phone or its website for more information.
Spanish airline Iberia, the country's largest, said it was working closely with local and national authorities to draw up measures to ease the situation.
Iberia "has implemented a contingency plan, deploying a large team that is now working intensely to help resolve this situation on the best possible terms for Spanair customers."
The measures include special fares for flights over the next week. The airline may also lay on extra flights to cope with extra demand on certain routes, it said.
The Catalan authorities said Vueling and Air Europa would also offer special fares and additional flights to help Spainair customers.
Scandanavian airline SAS, which used to own Spanair and still has a partial share in it, said its results would be down by about $252 million as a result of the airline's bankruptcy.