Airlines Ernest Airlines suspends operations

Italian operator Ernest Airlines has released, that it had to temporarily suspend its flight operations.

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The Italian Civil Aviation Authority ENAC had previously decided to suspend the operating license for the Ernest Airlines. As of January 11, 2020, the airline has to ground its fleet and is not allowed to transport passengers on scheduled flights.

A reason for the suspension of the license was not disclosed by ENAC or Ernest. Most likely, the airline was struggling with its finances.

In a statement, the airline wrote: "Following the provision of the National Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) of 29 December 2019 regarding the temporary suspension of our operating license, we find ourselves unable to operate flights as of 11.01.2020. We therefore ask all our passengers not to go to the airport."

"We have done everything possible to be able to operate and guarantee as many of our flights as possible during the holiday period, and to assist passengers who have travelled or had to fly with us during these two weeks and who have unfortunately suffered delays or cancellations. Unfortunately, the provision released on 29.12.2019, resulted in a series of events, which caused various blockages and difficulties to our operations," Ernest added.

The last flight was EG277 from Lviv, Ukraine to Milan Bergamo in Italy last Friday. The fleet consisted of four Airbus aircraft, one A319 and three A320s. Since the suspension, all aircraft have been returned to their lessors on Saturday.

EI-LIN was ferried to Amman in Jordan, EI-GCC and EI-LIX to Lourdes in France and the sole A319 EI-FVG was ferried to Shannon in Ireland. The average fleet age was around 10 years.

Regarding a possible revival, Ernest said: "The license can be restored following the demonstration by Ernest S.p.A. to be in possession of the requirements prescribed by the current legislation on the matter and to obtain the revocation of the provision issued by ENAC. We have activated all the actions aimed at obtaining the revocation of the same provision, and we need time to provide all the necessary evidence as per Regulation (EC) n.1008 of 2008 to demonstrate our financial sustainability necessary for the resumption of our operations."

Ernest was initially founded in 2016 and commenced operation in July. The main hub was at Milan Malpensa and the airline focused on serving leisure destinations.

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