By Associated Press Writer
updated 8/14/2009 12:32:55 PM ET 2009-08-14T16:32:55

Vienna airport will stop servicing departing SkyEurope AS flights as of midnight Friday because the airline failed to meet a deadline for paying outstanding debts, according to airport officials.

A statement Friday from Flughafen Wien, the airport, said that "despite long and intensive talks with SkyEurope," the outstanding payments were not made by Friday 3 p.m.

"Flughafen Wien therefore ends all services to SkyEurope by Friday, midnight," said the statement, adding that incoming flights would continue to be serviced. It did not name the amount of debt.

Outgoing flights had already been grounded temporarily Tuesday, until the airport and the carrier agreed on Friday's deadline.

The troubled airline obtained credit protection in Slovakia in June. It reported a loss of close to euro60 million in the 2007-2008 business year, with a turnover of euro260.9 million.

Shares in SkyEurope were trading at euro0.23 Friday afternoon in Vienna, down 14.81 percent.

SkyEurope was founded in 2001 and began operations in February 2002. It has not been profitable since. It operates services to more than 20 European cities from bases in Bratislava, Vienna and Prague.

The Web site of the Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes cited two unidentified SkyEurope workers as saying the company had asked employees to agree by Friday to being paid only a week of their July wages, with the rest to be paid out in 15 days.

The company warned that it would be forced to stop operating if the majority turned down the request, the two were quoted as saying.

SkyEurope officials were not reachable after the close of the business day Friday.


Associated Press writer Karel Janicek contributed to this report from Prague.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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