Passengers whose return flights were affected by the bankruptcy of the SkyWork airline will be able to buy cut-price tickets from four other airlines, under a deal announced Friday by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA).
FOCA said that it had asked the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to activate a voluntary agreement on the repatriation of grounded passengers and had also been speaking directly to Swiss airlines about the issue.
Swiss, Easy Jet, Helvetic Airways and Germania airlines are currently offering the reduced-price tickets (rescue fares) to stranded SkyWork passengers, FOCA spokesman Urs Holderegger told the Swiss news agency SDA-ATS on Friday.
The offer lasts until September 13. Passengers must contact the airlines directly by telephone, having first found out if one of the companies serves their location.
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The last SkyWork flight landed in Bern Airport on Wednesday night, after ongoing financial difficulties forced the company to declare itself bankrupt. Some 11,000 passengers are affected by the grounding of the fleet.
The company, founded in 1983, employed over 100 people and its six turboprop Saab 2000 planes served 22 European destinations from its hub just outside the Swiss capital, Bern.
The wind-down of SkyWork also leaves Bern Airport in a difficult situation, as the airline represented 60% of the total flights serving the Swiss capital. But authorities at the airport – through which almost 300,000 passengers pass each year – have said that its existence was not threatened, and that the immediate priority would be to maintain flights to the most popular European destinations SkyWork had served.