Astraeus Airlines collapses


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The Independent Online

An airline whose pilots included former Iron Maiden rock star Bruce Dickinson has gone into administration, it was announced today.

UK carrier Astraeus Airlines, based at Crawley in West Sussex, said it had ceased operations and was making an application to the High Court for the appointment of administrators.

The airline, which switched in 2008 to leasing aircraft to other carriers, was wholly owned by an Icelandic-based travel group.

Astraeus chief executive Hugh Parry said today: "We battled hard to save Astraeus, but lower-than-expected levels of business during the summer of 2011, a lack of contracts for winter 2011-2012, and some extremely bad luck with a number of technical issues mean that we have no option but to cease all operations and put Astraeus Airlines in the hands of the administrators.

"Every effort has been made to ensure that any passengers affected already have or will be able to complete their journey.

"It is small comfort to those affected and impacted, I realise, but Astraeus comprised a fantastic team who did a fantastic job - quite possibly the best team in their aviation business sector."

The airline started operations in 2002.