Airlines Remembered


Photos © R.Leeuw

Ceased operations: 21Dec04 (declared bankrupt 27Jan05)
Homebase: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Founded: 2000
ICAO callsign: Dutchbird
IATA / ICAO prefix: 5D / DBR
Operations: passengers

Dutchbird was founded to compete with Martinair and Transavia, the first being 50% owned by KLM while the latter fully owned by the Royal Dutch Airlines. Behind the initiative was Touroperator Sudtours.

PH-DBB (c) R.Leeuw
Boeing 757-230 PH-DBB (c/n 24738/274) is seen on roll out on runway 19L at Amsterdam (EHAM), 28Apr01. The colours of Condor, the company these 757s were leased from, are easy to recognise.

Boeing 757 with registration D-ABND (later reregistered PH-DBH) arrived at Amsterdam-Schiphol on 16nov00 and performed Dutchbird's first revenue flight (LPA DBR322/3) on 22nov00
During 2002 it was announced that for the 2003 season 2 Airbus A320s, on lease from from Bayerische Landesbank, would join the fleet. Rumours about A330(s) raised their heads too, but these never came (instead the 757s were used on long haul flights).
V Bird started operations from Niederrhein IAP (Germany) and on startup operated on the Aircraft Operator's Certificate (AOC) of Dutchbird for a while, until its own AOC was issued. V Bird folded in Oct.2004

PH-DBH (c) R.Leeuw
PH-DBH (24748/285) is seen here with some commercial titles for an insurance company "Eurpeesche Verzekeringen" (SPL 12Apr03)

HollandExel (ExelAviation Group - EAG) took over Dutchbird (5D/Amsterdam) on 25Nov04 and Dutchbird was to be merged with HollandExel Airlines. Days later the takeover was cancelled, amidst allegations that a Director (H.Prins) of the HollandExel Group, responsible for the takeover, had been involved in illegal business (money laundering). EAG refused to commit, stated Prins took over Dutchbird, not EAG. Again days later the takeover was confirmed again, this time by Mr Harm Prins himself, apparently in a personal capacity.

PH-BMC (c) R.Leeuw
A320-214 PH-BMC (c/n 1081) is seen being towed at Amsterdam IAP during April 2003.

During Dec.2004 both A320s were removed from the fleet due disagreement with the leasing company, the Bayerische Landes Bank (BLB). Operations continued with the Boeing 757s.
On 31Dec04 Dutchbird went into a state similar to "Chapter 11" in the US. Earlier, but Dutchbird had to cease all flying operations as the Boeing 757s had been claimed by the leasing company too. Previous months the company had a status that it had to pay cash on all services (e.g. landing fees, handling, fuel). When Touroperator Sudtours (the original initiator of Dutchbird), decided to book its passengers with Transavia, it was over and done with.
The Courts in Amsterdam declared on 27Jan05 the bankruptcy of Dutchbird.

The fleetlist in 2004:

RegistrationAircraft TypeConstruction number
PH-BMCAirbus A320-2141081
PH-BMDAirbus A320-2141370
PH-DBABoeing 757-23024747 / 275
PH-DBBBoeing 757-23024738 / 274
PH-DBHBoeing 757-23024748 / 285

Source: JP Airline Fleets 2004
Thomas Jaeger Newsletter (in Dutch)
Defunct Airlines on

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Last updated 4.4.2006