City Star Airlines was an airline based in Aberdeen, Scotland. It predominantly operated services between Aberdeen and Norwegian cities, particularly those that were involved in energy production. However, just five years after the airline was founded, City Star Airlines ceased operations.
Founding and expansion
The airline was founded in 2003, and began operations in March 2005. On the 28th March 2005, City Star Airlines (CSA) operated its first flight between Aberdeen, Scotland (ABZ) and Oslo, Norway (OSL).
CSA then added new destinations as the airline expanded, with the cities of Ålesund, Bergen, Kristiansund and Stavanger becoming part of CSA’s route network. In addition, the city of Groningen in the Netherlands was also served by City Star Airlines. Therefore, at its height, City Star Airlines operated to 5 Norwegian cities and 1 Dutch city from its hub in Aberdeen, Scotland.
In December 2007, the airline even proposed a new service to Austin, Texas, which would begin in 2008. The aircraft operating on this service would only carry passengers in business class seating, and CSA probably hoped to carry oil executives between the energy-focused regions of Texas, Scotland and Norway.
City Star Airlines did not own any aircraft themselves. The owner of the airline acquired a controlling share of Icelandic airline Landsflug in order to lease its services. This meant that City Star Airlines also operated under the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) of Landsflug.
Landsflug, which predominantly operated services between towns in Iceland, had a fleet of 4 Dornier 328-110 aircraft. These aircraft had a capacity of 32 passengers, and were powered by turboprop engines.
City Star Airlines’ decline could in part be attributed to several accidents, which damaged its reputation significantly.
The first of these accidents occurred on 22nd June 2006 during a flight from Stavanger, Norway to Aberdeen, Scotland. A Dornier 328-110 (registration: TF-CSB) operating on this route overshot the end of the runway at Aberdeen by a couple hundred yards. While this incident did not cause any deaths or injuries, the airline still decided to suspend operations for a few days in order to carry out internal investigations.
But less than a year later, however, City Star Airlines was involved in another incident. In March 2007, a City Star Airlines Dormer 328 operating from Aberdeen to Sumburgh Airport in Shetland, Scotland flew too close to the cliffs. In addition, it failed to respond to terrain warning systems, but fortunately the aircraft landed safely.
Nevertheless, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the United Kingdom still completed a safety investigation, which found that the incident occurred due to a jammed throttle. CSA responded by initially suspending the captain on the flight, but then decided to ask the captain to resign.
Following several incidents, City Star Airlines was forced to cease operations. The spokesperson for the airline even stated that these incidents had “a major knock-on effect and [the airline has] simply not been able to recover from this and as of midnight have ceased all operations. “
CSA was a major employer in the Aberdeen region, Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, even “claimed the decision was bad news for the Aberdeen economy”.