German Charter Firm Triple Alpha Declares Insolvency
German executive charter firm Triple Alpha Luftfahrt filed for insolvency on Friday and is now under the control of a court-appointed administrator. The Düsseldorf-based operator is a subsidiary of Ocean Sky Group Holdings, but according to chief executive Steve Grimes, the UK-based business aviation services company is trading normally and is unaffected by the bankruptcy. Triple Alpha operated 16 light to midsize business jets under management contracts. Ocean Sky acquired a 60-percent stake in Triple Alpha in August 2009 for €1.8 million ($2.5 million), but this deal was done under the direction of former group CEO Kurosh Tehranchian. Grimes told AIN that the company had not been performing well at the time it was acquired and that Ocean Sky has not been able to turn it around, despite investing some $5.6 million into the German firm. According to Grimes, the core problems at Triple Alpha were badly structured management contracts coupled with weak demand for smaller business jets. Triple Alpha lost €1.5 ($2.1 million) in 2010, but Ocean Sky claims it found out the full extent of the company’s balance sheet problems only after buying out former 20-percent shareholder Erik Scheidt late last year.