September 8, 2008 / 1:41 PM / 10 years ago

Futura seeks administration, suspends flights

MADRID, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Spanish charter airline Futura International Airways suspended flights for a day on Monday as it filed for administration, Spain’s transport and infrastructure ministry said.

The airline is due to resume flights on Tuesday after explaining to staff its reasons for the move, the ministry said. No one from the airline, or Hutton Collins, the UK private equity firm which owns nearly half of Futura, was immediately available for comment.

Palma, Mallorca-based Futura last month appointed restructuring advisers Houlihan Lokey amid falling profits, a source close to the situation told Reuters, adding that the firm was not overly indebted.

The global airline industry is seeing profits squeezed by higher oil prices, overcapacity and weakening demand. Futura might also have felt the impact of a fall in the number of British tourists visiting Spain this summer.

The airline has until Sept. 12 to outline its financial situation, financial reorganisation and safety plan to the transport ministry, which will then decide whether to pass, suspend or revoke its flying licence.

According to its website, Futura is Europe’s largest independent medium-haul charter airline, flying a fleet of 38 Boeing 737s. (Reporting by Ben Harding; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

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