What happened to Orbest Orizonia Airlines?

Based in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Orbest Orizonia Airlines was the airline division of Spain’s third-largest tour operator, Orizonia Group. From its main base at Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI), Orbest Orizonia Airlines operated scheduled and charter flights to Europe and the Caribbean.

With connections to more than 30 countries and regular flights to José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana, Cuba, Orbest Orizonia Airlines had a fleet of 23 aircraft during its 14 years of existence. The Spanish airline began operations on April 11, 1998, with a single Lockheed L-1011 Tristar leased from Classic Airways in the UK.


The airline’s first flights were from Palma and Malaga to London

Following the failure of Mallorca-based BCM Airlines, Spanish tourism company Grupo Iberostar realized that buying BCM Airlines would be a quick way to acquire an airline. Iberworld’s first flights were from Palma de Mallorca and Malaga to London. An Airbus A320-200 soon arrived to supplement the Tristar flights, and by May 5, 1998, they had two Airbus A320-200s, enabling the startup to return the leased Tristar to Classic Airways. At the end of the year, two new Airbus planes arrived, allowing Iberowstar to make a profit of 23.6 million euros after only eight months of operation.


The airline received an Airbus A310-300 from Air France-KLM’s Dutch subsidiary, Dutch low-cost carrier Transavia in 1999 and later that year took delivery of its fifth Airbus A320. As business was booming, the Spanish airline placed an order with Airbus for two more aircraft of the same type.

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Iberostar profited from the bankruptcy of Viva Air

The Spanish Viva Air, a subsidiary of Iberia, has seen its regular lines taken over by the Spanish national company, relegating it to using its Boeing 737-300 only for charter flights. Due to fierce competition from other charter airlines, Viva Air began to lose money and ceased all operations in March 1999. With the failure of Viva Air, new routes became available for Iberworld to consider flying to vacation destinations in the Caribbean. With this in mind, they placed an order for their first Airbus A330-200.


The new widebody arrived in April 2002, allowing Iberworld to retire its aging Airbus A310-300 in October after the busy summer holiday season. In 2006, Grupo Iberostar decided to sell its airline and other Iberostar assets while retaining its hotels and resorts. The buyer of the airline was the Orizonia group owned by the British Carlyle Group, the Spanish Vista Capital, the ICG Equity Fund and ten other companies.

The airline changed its name in 2011 to Orbest Orizonia

Due to problems with Globalia Group, Air Europa’s parent company, Orbest Orizonia filed for legal protection in February 2013 and ceased operations after declaring bankruptcy three months later. According to Aviation Statistics and the ch-aviation data website during its lifetime, Orbest Orizonia Airlines had a fleet consisting of the following aircraft:

  • 1 Airbus A310-300
  • 17 Airbus A320-200
  • 1 Airbus A330-200
  • 4 Airbus A330-300

Have you ever flown with Orbest Orizonia Airlines? If so, let us know how they were in the comments.

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