Turkish airline AtlasGlobal has weathered several storms over the preceding months. Once again, it appears the airline has ceased operations. Will it be for good this time?
I say “maybe” and “appears” because there has been no formal announcement from the airline. The website is still operational and you can still search for flights, though all inventory appears to have been zeroed out. In fact, at press time a large banner on the homepage still read, “We are up in the air again!”
Turkish media is reporting that the airline has declared bankruptcy and will cease operations for good. Staff were allegedly told to stay home from work starting yesterday. But you would think we’d hear something from the airline itself.
Media reports claim AtlasGlobal blamed the move from Istanbul Ataturk to Istanbul’s new airport for much of its problems, with higher costs and restricted cargo transport at the new airport hampering revenue.
The writing may have been on the wall. AtlasGlobal suspended flights for a month, starting in late November 2019. Only days before Christmas did it resume flying again. But less than a month later it suspended flights once again.
AtlasGlobal offered excellent fares, which will be missed because it placed downward pricing pressure on other carriers. It also offered interesting promos, like unlimited business class flights for a flat fee.
Perhaps we will never know if the new Istanbul Airport was really the problem or it just faced the same competitive pressures that doomed so many other European carriers. In any case, we still do not have an official announcement from AtlasGlobal.
One more thing. Before we get into the debate over whether Turkey is European or Asian, can we just agree that the country straddles both continents? Thanks.
Will you miss AtlasGlobal?