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Spanair Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedDecember 1986
Commenced operationsMarch 1988
Ceased operations27 January 2012
Hubs Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Spanair Star [1]
Alliance Star Alliance (2003-2012)
Fleet size29
Parent company Consortium of Investors (led by Consorci de Turisme de Barcelona and Catalana d'Iniciatives) (80.1%)
SAS Group (19.9%)
Headquarters L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
Key peopleMike Szücs, CEO [2]

Spanair S.A. was a Spanish airline, with its head office in the Spanair Building in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona. It was, until 2009 a subsidiary of the SAS Group; the same parent company in control of Scandinavian Airlines and held slightly under 20% of the company. [3] Spanair provided a scheduled passenger network within Spain and Europe, with an extension to West Africa. Worldwide charters were also flown for tour companies. Its main hub was Barcelona El Prat Airport, with focus cities at Madrid-Barajas Airport and Palma de Mallorca Airport. The airline had 3,161 employees [2] and was a Star Alliance member from 2003 until its demise.



The airline was established in December 1986 and began operations in March 1988. It was set up as a joint venture between Scandinavian Airlines and Viajes Marsans, and began operations with European charters. Long-haul flights to the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic were launched in 1991, followed by domestic scheduled flights in March 1994. The airline flew long-haul flights with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft to Washington and Buenos Aires in the late 1990s.

Spanair joined Star Alliance on 1 May 2003. [4]

The company was 94% owned by the SAS Group.[ when? ] SAS announced in a press release 13 June 2007 that it would sell its shares in Spanair. [5] The divestment was cancelled on 19 June 2008 due to SAS not being able to sell for a price that it considered to "reflect the underlying value in Spanair." On 30 January 2009, however, a one euro bid from group of investors from Catalonia, led by the Consorci de Turisme de Barcelona and Catalana d'Initiatives, was later accepted, whereupon SAS became a minority shareholder. [3]

A report in the British newspaper The Times on the day of the 2008 Madrid crash suggests that staff were threatening strike action due to concerns about the company's viability. [6]

In 2009 the airline asked for public input on a new logo, [7] with a winner being officially confirmed on 13 May 2009. As of June 2009, Spanair began applying the new corporate identity to their aircraft. [8]

On 25 January 2011, the company was in an "Emergency Financial Situation." The Catalan government approved a €10.5 million loan plan in order to save it. Revenue improved and the company was cutting costs

Financially troubled during its last few years, Spanair ended operations on 27 January 2012, after Qatar Airways pulled out of talks to inject cash into the airline. [9] As a result, SAS had a write-down of 1.7 billion Swedish kronor ($251 million U.S.). [10] Ana Pastor, the development minister of Spain, said that the Spanish government may fine the airline 9 million euros (US$12 million) after breaking serious aviation security rules by shutting down without proper notice. [11] [12] The carrier said all flights will remain suspended, but it did not say whether it planned to file for bankruptcy. [13] [14]

The last passenger flight was JK1326 from Trondheim to Las Palmas.

Corporate affairs

Spanair logo from late 1990s to 2009 Spanair former logo (2007).svg
Spanair logo from late 1990s to 2009
Spanair head office in l'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona Spanair headquarters Hospitalet.JPG
Spanair head office in l'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona

Head office

Spanair's head office was located in the Spanair Building (Edifici Spanair) in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona. [15]

Previously Spanair's head office was in the Spanair Building on the grounds of Palma de Mallorca Airport in Palma de Mallorca. [16] In 2008, during the changes in ownership, Spanair said that its head office would remain in Palma de Mallorca, despite rumors that the company would relocate its head office to Barcelona. [16] In 2009 the company announced that it planned to relocate its corporate offices to Barcelona. [17] In May 2009 Spanair made Barcelona its registered domicile. The airline began to search for a site for the Spanair headquarters in Barcelona. [18] In June of that year around 200 employees protested outside of the Spanair offices in Palma, saying that the timetable to move the offices was too hasty. [17]

Service concept

For economy-class passengers traveling within Western Europe the airline offered a buy on board service offering food and drinks for purchase. [19] Spanair also had revamped their own frequent flyer programme which was renamed Spanair Star. It was innovative for allowing members to redeem points immediately, in the form of a discount on a future flight.


Spanair Airbus A320-200 in Star Alliance livery Airbus A320-232 - Spanair - EC-INM - 200503051646.jpg
Spanair Airbus A320-200 in Star Alliance livery

Codeshare agreements

Spanair had codeshare agreements with the following airlines until of January 2012, [20] Airlines marked with * were members of Star Alliance at the time of Spanair's collapse.


Spanair Airbus A320-200 in a hybrid livery with old titles and new tailfin design Airbus A320-232, Spanair AN1973054.jpg
Spanair Airbus A320-200 in a hybrid livery with old titles and new tailfin design
Spanair Airbus A320-200 in the final full livery which was only applied to a few aircraft Spanair A320-232 (EC-IPI) taxiing at Munich Airport.jpg
Spanair Airbus A320-200 in the final full livery which was only applied to a few aircraft

The Spanair fleet consisted of the following aircraft at the time of closure. [21] [22] [23]

Spanair Fleet
Airbus A320-200 1948
Flexible two-class layout
Airbus A321-200 5212212
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 168
Flexible two-class layout
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 3
McDonnell Douglas MD-87 1125125Flexible two-class layout

Accidents and incidents

See also

Related Research Articles

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Futura International Airways was an airline with its head office in the Zona Facturación on the property of Palma de Mallorca Airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. It operated scheduled services and charter flights for tour operators and other airlines, in Europe, as well as wet lease and ad hoc charters. Its main base was Palma de Mallorca Airport. After failing to re-finance itself the company ceased trading on the 8 September 2008, leaving many passengers stranded in and around Spain.

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Vágar Airport

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Spantax S.A. was a Spanish leisure airline headquartered in Madrid that operated from 1959 to 1988. Spantax was one of the first Spanish airlines to operate tourist charter flights between European and North American cities and popular Spanish holiday destinations and was considered a major force in developing 20th-century mass tourism in Spain. Its popularity and image faded from the 1970s onward when a series of crashes and incidents revealed safety deficits, which, combined with rising fuel costs and increasing competition, resulted in the company facing severe financial difficulties that led to its demise in 1988.

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LTE International Airways

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Inverness Airport

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Palma de Mallorca Airport

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