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7/26/2005: EUjet Ceases Operations

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DALLAS – Today in Aviation, Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) EUjet ceased operations in 2005. 

Established in early 2003, the airline’s initial focus was on offering charter flights for European tour operators out of Dublin (DUB), Shannon (SNN), and Birmingham (BHX). It also provided aircraft and crew to fly scheduled services for Air France (AF), Germanwings (4U), and Volare Airlines (VE).

Fokker_100_EU_Jet_Manston_31.03.05R.jpgThe airport was briefly known as London Manston Airport. Sadly the facility closed its doors in May 2014. Photo: RuthASCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Focus Shift

In 2004, Eujet established itself as a low-cost carrier based at Manston Airport (MSE), Kent. The airline’s inaugural service departed MSE bound for DUB on September 1, 2004. Flights were operated using a 108-seat Fokker 100. 

Unlike many LCCs at the time, the airline offered allocated seating, and hassle-free check-in and boarding, which its passengers greatly appreciated. 

The owners of MSE, the PlaneStation Group, subsequently purchased the carrier in January 2005, making them the only airport in the world to own an airline.

By July that year, EUjet had welcomed its 300,000th passenger and was operating 26 routes across the UK and Europe. 

Fokker_100_EUjet_JP472305.jpegSeen touching down at Manchester (MAN), this is one of the carrier’s six-strong fleet of Fokker 100s. Photo: Dale Coleman (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons.

Financial Woes

However, despite a positive outlook, the airline struggled financially for some time. In December 2004, it announced six-month losses of £6.5 million. It revealed that it required a capital injection of no less than £22m to keep the airline in the skies and fund its development. 

Sadly, the funds could not be found, and when owner PlaneStation went out of business with €40m worth of debt, EUjet was also grounded.

In a statement, the airline’s owner, PJ McGoldrick, said, “It is with regret that I must advise you that Eujet has had no alternative but with immediate effect to suspend all airline operations and appoint an administrator in Ireland.”

Featured Image: EUjet Fokker 100 (EI-DBE) was the first aircraft to join the fleet. Photo: Aero Icarus from Zürich, SwitzerlandCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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