Dear Patrons, Donors, and Friends of Moonlight Air Organization
I am sorry to have to announce that we need to postpone to 2020 the mission planned for November 2019. We were in the final negotiations with an airline, but because of the current groundings and bankruptcy filings of a total of four airlines, they have decided to use the aircraft for commercial purposes instead. Since our team works on a volunteer basis, all donations are put 100% on hold and will be used to fund our first mission, as promised.
Current Aviation Situation Leads to Capacity Bottlenecks
The reason for the withdrawal of the aircraft during the final negotiations were the groundings/bankruptcy filings of a total of four airlines in September: Aigle Azur (F), Thomas Cook (UK), Adria Airways (SVN), and most recently XL (F). Add to this aviation "knock-out blow" all those Boeing 737 MAXes, which are currently not allowed to fly and are also affecting the airlines' flight planning. Countless aircraft are now on the ground, but not allowed to fly for legal, insurance-related, operational, and myriad other reasons. The European airlines are now using their existing aircraft capacity to fly back stranded passengers on behalf of governments, insurers, and tour operators. These aircraft are naturally also committed in the future, to minimize financial losses for tour operators. It usually takes 1-2 months for the aircraft market to return to normal after a grounding, but in this case, it could take longer.
Increased Demand - Horrendous Prices
All of these circumstances naturally have a knock-on effect on aircraft leasing and airline charter companies. In short, there is not a single aircraft available in Europe and the Middle East. Or else an aircraft might be available, but for operational or insurance-related reasons, the company cannot fly to that particular region; or else they don't want to; and unfortunately there are those who actually would be willing to rent out a plane at horrendous prices because of the high demand, but which we cannot afford.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the reasons that we have to postpone the mission. But it is yet another clear indication and argument for why a non-commercial, independent, and purely private humanitarian airline like us needs to be ready at all times for humanitarian relief flights, medical missions, and in case of a disaster. We will keep you informed about the current status by the website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Thank you very much for your support and your trust.