According to information in the public media, Snowbird Airlines Oy has cancelled all flights to Málaga from 18 December 2014. Snowbird customers should reclaim money paid for cancelled flights from the company.
Because Snowbird's air tickets have been sold through other channels as well as the Snowbird website, all consumers who have purchased a flight from Helsinki to Málaga should contact the seller of the ticket to check whether this was a Snowbird flight.
Should Snowbird fail to respond to claims for a refund, and the ticket has been paid by credit card, it will be possible to apply to the credit card company for a refund.
Snowbird is not entered in the register of package travel companies maintained by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), and has not lodged a guarantee with the FCCA to ensure that any claims by consumers can be paid should the company become bankrupt or insolvent. Consumers purchasing flight tickets from the company should bear in mind that if the ticket is not paid by credit card, there is no guarantee of a refund if the company becomes insolvent.
On 23 June 2014, the FCCA prohibited Snowbird from selling flights directly to consumers before the company had been entered in the register of package travel companies maintained by the FCCA. The company lodged an appeal against the decision. Because the case is still pending at the Administrative Court, the company has been able to continue selling products to consumers.
Snowbird does not operate the flights itself, but commissions them from other airlines. Travellers are therefore unable to claim compensation from Snowbird on the basis of the EC Regulation on passenger rights if a flight is cancelled. Instead, the claim must be submitted to the airline that was to operate the cancelled flight.
Air passengers' rights if a flight is cancelled
FCCA: Virtual airlines are compared to travel agents in the Travel Agency Act (FCCA press release 10 July 2014)