Madeira’s tourism was dealt a blow when low-cost German airline, Germania filed for bankruptcy and immediately cancelled all its flights, including those to Madeira on the 5th of February 2019.
During a brief statement, the airlines Chief Executive Kasten Balke stated that several unpredictable events, such as a sharp rise in fuel prices during the summer of 2018, difficulties in integrating new aircraft into the fleet due to delays and a weak euro had had a detrimental impact on the company. They were also unable to secure a short-term loan to cover immediate costs.
Reacting to the news the President of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque stated that although the loss of 106,000 annual seats was a setback for Madeira, especially as the German market is the second biggest market on the island, tourism would recover, as it had after the collapse of Monarch, Air Berlin and Niki Lauda Air.
The Regional Tourism Secretary, Paula Cabaço, reiterated the President's thoughts by saying that the loss of the airline will cause short-term effects. However, she remained positive, stating that plans already set in place to deal with this eventuality and by working together with Aeroportos de Portugal (ANA) they will be able to find another airline to replace them.
Travellers, who have booked their flights through a travel agent, need to contact their tour operator to arrange substitute transportation. However, those who booked directly with Germania will have to arrange alternative transport themselves.