New skier-friendly airline Powdair in financial trouble after main backer walks away before a single plane takes off
Shortly before operations were scheduled to begin, Powdair has found itself in trouble due to its main financial backer pulling out, citing personal reasons. The airline needs to raise £3 million in order to operate over the coming winter season, with £1m of that due this week.
Operating from Sion in the heart of Switzerland’s Valais region, Powdair planned to offer skiers and snowboarders from the UK, Northern Germany and the Benelux Countries the chance to reach some of Switzerland’s best ski resorts quickly and efficiently.
Flights were scheduled to begin on 11 December, but that is now looking doubtful.
Powdair’s Chief Financial Officer, Sean Pettit said:
“Just as the powdair operation begins to snowball, today’s setback is both unexpected and potentially disastrous for our airline, booked passengers and resort partners. Operational systems and strategies are already in place, whilst ticket sales are very strong and exceeding expectations. powdair is ready to go, but we now desperately need investment. I’d personally like to hear from anyone interested in owning either a small or large part of our airline.
Please bear in mind that we’re a very small team working with limited resources and we need to secure at least £3 million to operate this season and at least £1 million by the end of this week in order to operate a reduced but efficient flight schedule this season.”
The airline released a statement today, outlining two options moving forwards: postponing flights this winter, and refunding any tickets booked; or crowdfunding the money they need.
Powdair’s full statement reads:
“An important Powdair update…
Since the Powdair journey commenced two years ago, we’ve done our very best to be open and honest about the prospects and opportunities of our fledgling airline. After all, new airlines don’t launch every day and we’ve faced many expected and unexpected challenges along the way.
What’s the point of Powdair? Opening up the incredible Swiss Valais region to skiers, snowboarders and year-round mountain lovers across Europe is our mission. Significantly reduced journey times direct to Sion rather than Geneva, improved transfer connections to resort, more time on holiday and for second home owners, better access to your investment, is the end result. But that’s not where this journey ends.
This morning our key financial backer walked away from the powdair journey for personal reasons.
We’re faced now with two options. We either postpone starting powdair this winter – in which case, those of you who’ve already booked flights would be guaranteed a full refund.
We offer the airline to you, our army of passionate powdair supporters, in the hope that you’d like to own a stake in powdair and benefit in our future shared success.
In a nutshell…
- Over 5,000 people have already booked flights with us for this season
- More than 85 of you have signed up as Season Pass holders, already buying between 10 and a whopping 80 tickets each to fly with us this season!
- We’ve already been awarded Best Start-up Business in the World Snow Awards
- We’re officially partnered with 17 resorts in the Valais and Portes du Soleil, including Verbier, Crans Montana, Nendaz, Anzere, Thyon 4 Vallées, Morzine, Champéry, Avoriaz, Châtel and Les Gets – and already have a raft of events and marketing activity planned with them
- We’re working with hundreds of Valais, British and Belgian businesses – big and small – to ensure that both they and our powdair passengers benefit from everything we do
Without funding, we’re now facing the situation of needing to postpone the start of our flight schedule for this winter season, which is currently set to commence on 11th December 2017. However, with your support we can still make powdair a success and take off as planned this winter. At this late stage, community ownership is realistically the only way we’ll be able to make powdair operational this winter.
If you would like to invest in us, please email email@example.com immediately for further information.
The powdair Team”