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Spanair Shuts Down, 220 Flights Cancelled

European Budget Carriers Offer Discounts to Stranded

A sudden, unannounced shutdown by the Spanish airline Spanair has canceled 220 flights, and forced a reported 22,000 passengers to make other plans. The airline blamed its action Friday on a lack of funding. The government of Spain has laws requiring notice of such a shutdown, and could fine the airline 9 million euro, or about $11.8 million.

The Associated Press reports airline Chairman Ferran Soriano says a failure to attract investment prompted the regional government of northeastern Catalonia to stop providing funds. The shutdown affects 2,000 employees and services provided by about 1,200 ground staff.

Members of the European Low Fares Airline Association say they will make open seats available on other airlines to get as many travelers as possible home, with specially discounted fares. The offer is subject to seat availability, and includes flights on Ryanair and EasyJet. 

Spanair promises it will have instructions for travel agents in the next few days regarding refund procedures for tickets on affected flights.

FMI: www.spanair.com

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