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29/10/2008 - Iceland's Sterling Airways Shuts Down Stranding Thousands
This is a story we have read about more times in 2008 than I'd like to recall. Airlines folding one after another have spread panic and fear through the minds of holiday travelers around the world.
This morning Icelandic airline Sterling Airways, which is based in Denmark, has canceled all its flights. With the Iceland's once flourishing financial sector has crumbled under the weight of the worldwide credit crisis, leaving the Icelandic Government on the brink of bankruptcy. These financial impacts have heavily affecting the airline industry and it became impossible for low cost carrier Sterling Airways to remain solvent.
A company spokesperson is quoted as saying, “Over a three to four week period, the whole financial system melted down, and that resulted in our shareholder being unable to continue his support to the company.” "Sadly, this has not had a positive outcome, and we have therefore decided to file for bankruptcy which will be done later today,"
Sterling Airways, who is owned by Northern Travel Holdings, primarily operated from hubs in Stockholm (ARN), Copenhagen (CPH) and Oslo (OSL) serviced 40 cities through out Europe. The airline has stated that Sterling Airways will issue no refunds. Passengers who paid by credit card are encouraged to contact their credit card company directly, and those who booked through an independent tour operator should contact that tour operator.
Multi-national Scandinavian airline SAS, or Norway based Norwegian Airlines, are assisting in arranging travel for a few thousand flyers stranded by Sterling Airways by offer space-available seats to those who have been affected by these flight cancellations.
Remember to always book your flights with a credit card when possible. Also, when looking to book your future travel, take 5 minutes and look around at the airline you are seeking to fly. Check the airline in the news; see if they are likely to collapse. There are many stable and solvent airlines flying today that can provide reasonable reliability for holiday travelers.