Bluebird Nordic ceases operations

On May 2nd, 2024, Icelandic cargo airline Bluebird Nordic formally announced the cessation of its operations, with all aircraft handed back to their respective lessors. The carrier says that it “voluntarily surrendered” its Air Operator’s Certificate having operated its final service on April 30th, claiming that a slump in demand is behind the decision.

Bluebird Nordic, which also operated under the trading name BBN Airlines Nordic, operated a fleet of Boeing 737 Freighters, split between the -400 and -800 variants of the type, and had recently acquired three Boeing 777-300ERs following the termination of a similar lease with Russian-backed lessor GTLK as a result of that country’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.

The airline was established as an Icelandair subsidiary in 1999, launching flights 2 years later before being acquired by the Dublin-based Avia Solutions Group, which owns a variety of other ACMI carriers including newly-launched British operator Ascend Airways, in 2020. In March 2024, the group announced that BBN Airlines Indonesia, a Bluebird Nordic offshoot, had been granted its AOC – it is understood that, as of May 6th, this airline will continue to operate, though its fleet remains parked since May 2nd.

In March, the BBN Airlines Indonesia Chairman said that “With the issuance of this AOC, BBN Airlines Indonesia aims to bring more capacity to the region and deliver a high standard of safety and service in the air travel experience.”