Spanair ceases operations as Qatar Airways halts takeover talks

Spanish domestic carrier Spanair cancelled all its flights on Friday night before filing for bankruptcy, disrupting the travel plans of thousands of passengers.

The move, which resulted in the cancellation of over 200 flights affecting more than 22,000 passengers, came after Qatar Airways ceased negotiations to takeover the troubled airline and the regional Government withdrew funding.

The carrier posted a message on its website revealing it had suspended operations due to ‘exceptional circumstances’, citing “a lack of financial visibility for the coming months.”

Spanair chairman Ferran Soriano revealed “We were in a very advanced process of finding a financial partner, but we were notified by the regional government that it couldn’t finance our operations anymore and that Qatar wouldn’t invest.”

The Spanish airline, which has more than 2,000 employees
Spanair, founded in 1986, operated from 15 Spanish airports with an extensive route network including Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The airline, which carried 12.56 million passengers in 2011, employed over 2,000 staff.
Affected passengers are being told to contact a special hotline that has been set up while updates are available via Twitter. Meanwhile Iberia, Vueling Airlines SA and Air Europa are providing reduced fares to Spanair customers.

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