SunExpress Deustschland, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, will cease operations and liquidate, becoming the latest casualty of COVID-19.
Per Deutsche Welle, flights after June 26, 2020 will be cancelled and about 1,200 employees will lose their jobs, with a spokesperson stating:
“Flight operations by SunExpress Germany, a subsidiary of Turkish SunExpress, will be ended shortly and an orderly liquidation process begun.”
SunExpress Deutschland (Germany) was a subsidiary of SunExpress. Both SunExpress and the German subsidiary are 50-50 joint ventures between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. While the German subsidiary will cease operations, SunExpress will continue to operate and offers an extensive network of domestic and international travel from its base in Antalya, Turkey.
Passengers impacted by the sudden liquidation will be rebooked on either Eurowings or Turkish Airlines. This will be an automatic process.
COVID-19 Blamed For SunExpress Collapse
The SunExpress fleet was grounded between April 2 and May 31. Demand has been slow to return and even as borders begin to re-open, traffic has lagged behind.
Like with Germanwings, Lufthansa has elected to conserve scarce resources, which comes at the expense of its SunExpress operation. Most routes will continue to operate under Eurowings.
Most airlines have managed to hang on during COVID-19, but SunExpress Deutschland will not survive. While passengers will be protected and routes mostly preserved, 1,200 employees will likely lose their jobs.