Small Planet Airlines, registered in Lithuania, was declared bankrupt on 4 January 2019 and a receiver has been appointed. The claims must be submitted to the bankruptcy estate by 1 March 2019. Small Planet Airlines only operated flights that were part of travel packages from Finland. Flights from Finland were already discontinued in the late autumn of 2018. The claims of Finnish consumers who have been in contact with the European Consumer Centre have mainly concerned possible unpaid compensation for the delays of these flights.
According to EU legislation, consumers are entitled to standard compensation for flight delays and cancellations under certain conditions. If you have already filed a claim for compensation for a flight delay from Small Planet Airlines but its processing has been interrupted due to the bankruptcy, act as follows:
Send your claim for compensation by 1 March to the bankruptcy receiver Relina in Lithuania by email to email@example.com or by post to:
Konstitucijos Av. 12
Tel: + 370 5 2734773
The claim should include your contact details, the amount that your are claiming and a description of the grounds, for example:
I hereby request standard compensation amounting to EUR [amount in euros] due to the delay of Small Planet Airways flight [ABXXXX flight number] from [place of departure] to [place of arrival] on [date of departure]. My booking reference number is [booking number] and it was made on [date of booking/purchase]. Your contact details and account number in IBAN format / bank.
After filing the claim for compensation, follow the communications of the bankruptcy estate carefully and follow additional instructions it may give.
It is unlikely that you will receive delay compensation from the airline’s bankruptcy estate afterwards. The position of consumers in the event of an airline going out of business is generally tenuous, because the airline is likely to have a long list of creditors. Creditors’ receivables are recovered in an order of priority, and individual consumers are usually at the bottom of the list, by which time there may be no funds left to distribute.
Activities also in other countries
In addition to Lithuania, Small Planet Airlines was also registered in Denmark, Poland, Italy, Estonia and Cambodia. The bankruptcy receiver has not yet been announced for all of these countries. Only the Lithuanian company had operations in Finland.
If you have purchased a travel package that was never carried out from one of the above-mentioned other European Small Planet Airlines companies, you can claim your money back primarily from the travel agency where you bought the travel package. The travel agency is also responsible for arranging a replacement trip or refunding the money. The travel agency from which you bought the trip is also responsible for return transportation if the bankruptcy occurred in the middle of the trip. It will usually also communicate with its customers directly.
If you purchased your holiday or flights using a credit card, you can also ask the credit provider – the credit card company or bank that issued the card – to refund the price of the cancelled holiday on the basis of the Consumer Protection Act. Consumers who paid their holiday using a debit card should also contact their bank in such cases.
If you have any questions or you need advice in drafting a claim for compensation, for example, please contact us. We are handling the case in cooperation with the European Consumer Centre in Lithuania.