UK regional operator Duo Airways has ceased flight operations and been
placed under the control of administrators after failing to secure additional
Two partners at finance firm Deloitte &
Touche – Bill Dawson and Andrew Peters – have been appointed as administrators
for the airline.
“Following this appointment, Duo has ceased
to trade and there will be no further flights,” says the carrier.
Duo emerged from a management buy-out of
the loss-making UK division of Danish carrier Maersk Air last year. It subsequently
established operations out of bases in Birmingham and Edinburgh using a
fleet of Bombardier regional jets.
It had initially continued to fly as a
British Airways franchise carrier before splitting from the mainline airline
last November. The regional operator has since been serving routes to
continental Europe and Scandinavia.
But Duo has struggled to survive. Its
revenues have fallen short of forecasts and the tough economic conditions,
combined with a failure to obtain extra investment, have forced the company to
Deloitte’s Dawson says: “There
was a real prospect that Duo could find these funds to support its growing booking
levels but, although the board worked hard to achieve this, unfortunately the
additional investments did not come through in time.”
Duo employs around 300 staff, primarily in Birmingham. Its
fleet includes four Bombardier CRJ700s, which are owned by the airline, as well
as three Bombardier CRJ200s leased from Aviation Financial Services.
The administrators have warned that
passengers scheduled to fly on Duo will have to seek reimbursement, and that
passengers already abroad will have to make alternative arrangements to return.
Deloitte is assessing the airline’s
business situation and the administrators will have to report to the carrier’s
creditors within eight weeks.
“We will not be in a position to assess the
chances of any reimbursement until the likely outcome from the realisation of
assets is known,” says Deloitte.