Industry News > Charter Carrier Skyservice Shuts Down Operations

Charter Carrier Skyservice Shuts Down Operations

posted on 2:59 PM, March 31, 2010

Toronto, March 31--Citing heavy debt and an overly competitive vacation marketplace, Canadian charter carrier Skyservice has announced that it has filed for receivership and is shutting down its operations immediately. Skyservice, whose primary partner was Sunquest Vacations (a division of Thomas Cook PLC)  expects roughly 860 jobs to be lost by the grounding.


In a related announcement, Russell Payson, CEO of Skyservice Business Aviation, which provides air ambulance services for the travel insurance industry, emphasized that “Today’s announcement from Skyservice Airlines has nothing to do with Skyservice Business Aviation.  We continue to operate as usual and wish to assure all clients, suppliers and employees that Skyservice Business Aviation is, in no way, affected by today’s announcement. Payson added that “Skyservice Business Aviation continues to provide Canada's premiere fixed base operations, private charter services, managed aircraft, air ambulance and maintenance support for commercial and private air transport."


As a result of the filing, all remaining flights out of Canada were immediately cancelled and replacement flights for those who had not yet returned from vacations out of the country have been arranged.


Michael Friisdahl, CEO for Thomas Cook North America said in a statement that “since it is late in the winter season, a relatively small number of our passengers were booked on Skyservice flights and we have the capability to respond effectively to this situation.”


Sunquest flights through the end of April have been arranged with other carriers and flights booked for its summer season, beginning May 1, 2010 will be provided by WestJet Airlines, a company statement noted.


According to a news report from the CBC, MasterCard Canada issued a statement confirming that it would refund purchases for customers who had not received the goods and services they paid for.


Skyservice was founded in 1986 and employed 1,200 employees during peak season.  Its fleet served destinations in Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe.