Swiss airport seeks crowdfunding for new 'people’s airline' 

A poster for the planned FlyBAIR airline, as seen at the press conference to announce it on Friday at Bern Airport Keystone / Adrian Reusser

Bern Airport near the Swiss capital is seeking to re-establish scheduled flights - stopped after its main airline SkyWork went bust - with the help of crowdfunding. The name of the new “people’s airline” would be FlyBAIR.  

This content was published on November 1, 2019 - 14:49
Keystone-SDA/swissinfo.ch/ilj

The aim is for FlyBAIR to offer charter flights to ten European destinations from May 2020, with a link being established to travel hubs such as Munich, Amsterdam or London by the autumn of that year, the airport’s management said on Friday

The last SkyWork flight landed at Bern airport on August 29, 2018, after financial difficulties forced the company to declare itself bankrupt. Bern airport had been the small Swiss airline’s hub. 

+ Read about the background to the SkyWork bankruptcy here 

Since then the airport, which is located just outside the Swiss capital, has only been serving charter and government flights, private jets and light aircraft. 

Bern Airport is hoping that people who live in the region will cough up the capital needed of CHF2.5 million ($2.5 million) via online crowdfunding. The first goal is to collect CHF1 million within 30 days, Bern Airport’s director Urs Ryf told reporters at a press conference, 

Board chairman Beat Brechbühl added that all efforts to encourage “traditional” airlines to Bern had failed since SkyWorks went under. That’s why the airport is betting on a “virtual airline” instead.  

This means FlyBAIR would not own any aeroplanes itself but would be in charge of marketing. Swiss charter company Lions Air, active in the business and VIP flight sector, would be responsible for the operational side and German Airways would lease the planes. The main advantages, Ryf said, would be that the airport could operate flights according to demand and that fixed costs could be kept low. 

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