Spanair S.A. was a Spanish airline, with its head office in the Spanair Building in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona. It was, until 2009 a subsidiary of the SAS Group; the same parent company in control of Scandinavian Airlines and held slightly under 20% of the company.[3] Spanair provided a scheduled passenger network within Spain and Europe, with an extension to West Africa. Worldwide charters were also flown for tour companies. Its main hub was Barcelona El Prat Airport, with focus cities at Madrid-Barajas Airport and Palma de Mallorca Airport. The airline had 3,161 employees[2] and was a Star Alliance member from 2003 until its demise.

Spanair Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedDecember 1986
Commenced operationsMarch 1988
Ceased operations27 January 2012
HubsJosep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer programSpanair Star[1]
AllianceStar Alliance (2003-2012)
Fleet size29
Parent companyConsortium of Investors (led by Consorci de Turisme de Barcelona and Catalana d'Iniciatives) (80.1%)
SAS Group (19.9%)
HeadquartersL'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
Key peopleMike Szücs, CEO[2]


The airline was established in December 1986 and began operations in March 1988. It was set up as a joint venture between Scandinavian Airlines and Viajes Marsans, and began operations with European charters. Long-haul flights to the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic were launched in 1991, followed by domestic scheduled flights in March 1994. The airline flew long-haul flights with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft to Washington and Buenos Aires in the late 1990s.

Spanair joined Star Alliance on 1 May 2003.[4]

The company was 94% owned by the SAS Group.[when?] SAS announced in a press release 13 June 2007 that it would sell its shares in Spanair.[5] The divestment was cancelled on 19 June 2008 due to SAS not being able to sell for a price that it considered to "reflect the underlying value in Spanair." On 30 January 2009, however, a one euro bid from group of investors from Catalonia, led by the Consorci de Turisme de Barcelona and Catalana d'Initiatives, was later accepted, whereupon SAS became a minority shareholder.[3]

A report in the British newspaper The Times on the day of the 2008 Madrid crash suggests that staff were threatening strike action due to concerns about the company's viability.[6]

In 2009 the airline asked for public input on a new logo,[7] with a winner being officially confirmed on 13 May 2009. As of June 2009, Spanair began applying the new corporate identity to their aircraft.[8]

On 25 January 2011, the company was in an "Emergency Financial Situation." The Catalan government approved a €10.5 million loan plan in order to save it. Revenue improved and the company was cutting costs

Financially troubled during its last few years, Spanair ended operations on 27 January 2012, after Qatar Airways pulled out of talks to inject cash into the airline.[9] As a result, SAS had a write-down of 1.7 billion Swedish kronor ($251 million U.S.).[10] Ana Pastor, the development minister of Spain, said that the Spanish government may fine the airline 9 million euros (US$12 million) after breaking serious aviation security rules by shutting down without proper notice.[11][12] The carrier said all flights will remain suspended, but it did not say whether it planned to file for bankruptcy.[13][14]

The last passenger flight was JK1326 from Trondheim to Las Palmas.

Corporate affairsEdit

Spanair logo from late 1990s to 2009
Spanair head office in l'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona

Head officeEdit

Spanair's head office was located in the Spanair Building (Edifici Spanair) in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona.[15]

Previously Spanair's head office was in the Spanair Building on the grounds of Palma de Mallorca Airport in Palma de Mallorca.[16] In 2008, during the changes in ownership, Spanair said that its head office would remain in Palma de Mallorca, despite rumors that the company would relocate its head office to Barcelona. [16] In 2009 the company announced that it planned to relocate its corporate offices to Barcelona.[17] In May 2009 Spanair made Barcelona its registered domicile. The airline began to search for a site for the Spanair headquarters in Barcelona.[18] In June of that year around 200 employees protested outside of the Spanair offices in Palma, saying that the timetable to move the offices was too hasty.[17]

Service conceptEdit

For economy-class passengers traveling within Western Europe the airline offered a buy on board service offering food and drinks for purchase.[19] Spanair also had revamped their own frequent flyer programme which was renamed Spanair Star. It was innovative for allowing members to redeem points immediately, in the form of a discount on a future flight.


Spanair Airbus A320-200 in Star Alliance livery

Codeshare agreementsEdit

Spanair had codeshare agreements with the following airlines until of January 2012,[20] Airlines marked with * were members of Star Alliance at the time of Spanair's collapse.


Spanair Airbus A320-200 in a hybrid livery with old titles and new tailfin design
Spanair Airbus A320-200 in the final full livery which was only applied to a few aircraft

The Spanair fleet consisted of the following aircraft at the time of closure.[21][22][23]

Spanair Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A320-200 19 48
Flexible two-class layout
Airbus A321-200 5 212 212
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 1 68
Flexible two-class layout
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 3
McDonnell Douglas MD-87 1 125 125 Flexible two-class layout
Total 29

Accidents and incidentsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b "". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Definitive agreement regarding the sale of Spanair signed". January 30, 2009. Archived from the original on December 24, 2009.
  4. ^ "Spanair Star Alliance information". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  5. ^ "New direction will ensure SASs future". June 13, 2007.
  6. ^ Steve Keenan (August 20, 2008). "'Organised chaos' at crash airline Spanair - A report suggests pilots were planning strikes as Spanair planned job cuts and fewer flights after sell-off plan failed". Times Online.
  7. ^ "Juntos elegimos la nueva identidad visual de Spanair." Spanair. Retrieved on 6 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Spanair's new livery on a first A320." Skyliner. Retrieved on 6 June 2009.
  9. ^ "Spanair to shut down tonight after Qatar Airways declines to invest". 27 January 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  10. ^ Alder, Tony and Ola Kinnander. "SAS Shares Drop as Spanair Ends Operations: Stockholm Mover." Bloomberg Businessweek. 31 January 2012. Retrieved on 31 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Spanair shut-down strands passengers." Agence France Presse at the Kuwait Times. Retrieved on 31 January 2012.
  12. ^ Minder, Raphael and Nicola Clark. "Spain Threatens Fine After Airline's Quick Close." The New York Times. January 30, 2012. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.
  13. ^ "Shuts Down; Future Uncertain&channel=comm/ Spanair Shuts Down; Future Uncertain". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Spanair shutdown strands 23,000 travelers". United Press International. January 28, 2012.
  15. ^ "Contacts." Spanair. Retrieved on 29 December 2009. "Edifici Spanair. Plaça d'Europa 54-56, 08902 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona)"
  16. ^ a b "Spanair to retain HQ in Palma." The Mallorca. 23 December 2008. Retrieved on 18 October 2009.
  17. ^ a b "Spanair workers demonstrate against move to Barcelona." thinkSpain, Wednesday 17 June 2009. Retrieved on 18 October 2009.
  18. ^ "Spanair moves its registered domicile to Barcelona." Invest in Catalonia. 14 May 2009. Retrieved on 18 October 2009.
  19. ^ "Menu and Minibar." Spanair. Accessed March 15, 2011.
  20. ^ "". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Spanair on ch-aviation". ch-aviation. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  22. ^ "". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Seatmaestro page for Spanair". Archived from the original on 10 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  24. ^ "Passengers in Liverpool plane drama". 10 May 2001. Retrieved 13 November 2017 – via
  25. ^ "Passengers Survive Liverpool Plane Crash". 2001-05-11. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  26. ^ "ALERT RAISED OVER CRASH PLANE'S UNDERCARRIAGE CRACK. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  27. ^ "Aug 25 - Spanair-operated jet has technical problems - Hip Hop Universe". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  28. ^ "Spanish plane that crashed had overheated valve". Associated Press. August 21, 2008.
  29. ^ "Login". Retrieved 13 November 2017.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Spanair at Wikimedia Commons