Budget carrier SkyEurope falls into bankruptcy

SLOVAKIAN budget airline SkyEurope has filed for bankruptcy and suspended all flights, the firm said yesterday, after collapsing under the pressure of dwindling revenues in the economic slump.<br /><br />SkyEurope, which was launched in 2001 and served mainly continental Europe, had obtained a three-month creditor protection in Slovakia in June and was trying to restructure and pay off its outstanding debt.<br /><br />However, SkyEurope said a trustee appointed by a Slovak court had assessed that the carrier did not have the funds to carry on in light of reduced passenger bookings and flight revenue.<br /><br />The economic slowdown has hit the airline hard, with traffic in July declining by 37 per cent year-on-year.<br /><br />&ldquo;The airline had tried to set up a bridge financing facility to remedy the liquidity shortfall but this facility was not funded at the last moment,&rdquo; the company said in a statement.<br /><br />Low-cost carrier Ryanair trumped rival offers to fly home passengers stranded by the collapse with a &euro;25 one-off &ldquo;rescue fare&rdquo;.