17 / 08 / 2008
GEMINI Air Cargo has ceased operations and has entered Chapter 7 liquidation, after eleventh hour negotiations to secure the airline’s future are believed to have failed.
In mid-June Gemini vice-president general counsel Don Creston, said the company hoped to sell its operation as part of its Chapter 11 filing in Miami bankruptcy court. At that time, he said management has not determined if Gemini would cease flying should a buyer not be found.
Despite interest from a number of parties, including Centurion Air Cargo and Bravia Capital, no deal could be reached.
The bankruptcy court was due to rule on a successful bidder on 15 August, however, it is believed that negotiations with the final interested party, Bravia Capital, broke down on 12 August and the airline subsequently ceased flying operations.
Despite numerous attempts to contact Gemini at its US headquarters, the company was unavailable to confirm or deny that it had stopped operating.
A source close to the airline said that the plan was for the existing owners to stop funding the airline from 15 August and the new owners to take over. However, late on 12 August the potential buyers pulled out of the deal, leaving no alternative than to wind up the airline.
He addd that only a skeleton staff remain at the company and most employees have been informed of their fate.
Gemini’s four MD-11Fs will now be returned to the lessors, two to GECAS and two to AerCap.
It is rumoured that the two GECAS-owned aircraft are likely to be placed with World Airways, that has been looking to increase its MD-11 fleet.
The problems encountered by Gemini, reflect the financial pressures faced by many freighter ACMI operators in the current economic climate.
Plans by airlines to expand freighter fleets have been curtailed, as the growth in cargo grinds to a halt, creating less demand for leased-in capacity.
he failure of Gemini follows the cessation of operations by another MD-11F operator, Transmile, earlier this year.
In addition, Air Cargo News has learned that Alitalia Cargo is considering selling off its fleet of MD-11Fs, as it continues to struggle under mounting debts.