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You’ve probably never heard of XL Airways Germany, and even if you have, you’ve probably never flown with them. That’s because the airline only took to the skies for six years.
XL Airways Germany received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC), on May 3, 2006, as an airline named Star XL Germany Airlines. Just a few months later, the airline was sold and renamed XL Airways Germany by the XL Leisure Group. The company’s turbulent start only seemed to get more grueling from there.
Just two years after the company was founded, on Sept. 11, 2008, BBC News reported that XL Airways Germany filed for administration due to the burden of rising fuel prices. Simon Calder, one of BBC’s travel experts, reported that the XL Leisure Group had still been taking online bookings that day. The following morning, the XL Leisure Group folded. Although, the operations of XL Airways Germany and XL Airways France remained in tact. XL Airways Germany and XL Airways France were acquired by the Straumur Investment Bank of Iceland.
In 2012, XL Airways Germany was serving destinations in Egypt, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and locally in Germany. That year, the company was operating five Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The company was headquartered in Mörfelden-Walldorf, Hesse, Germany, with a hub at Frankfurt Airport.
Unfortunately, the airline was unable to gain speed. XL Airways Germany suspended their operations for the winter on Dec. 14, 2012. They filed for bankruptcy shortly after on Dec. 27.
The company faced even more difficulty when it was unable to find new investors following bankruptcy. In early 2013, the airline’s administrator was forced to lay off the remaining employees and enter the company into liquidation. XL Airways France did not suffer the same fate, and has reverted to full French ownership. XL Airways France is still in the sky today.