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IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations1996
Fleet size7
HeadquartersIstanbul, Turkey

Birgenair was a Turkish charter airline company established in 1988 with headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey.[1]


A Birgenair DC-8
A Birgenair Boeing 767-200ER

Owned by the Turkish businessman Cetin Birgen, Birgenair operated charter flights from Western Europe to several Turkish holiday destinations, initially with DC-8 aircraft. Later it served the Turkish-German Discount travel and tourism Company Öger Tours for flights from Germany to the Caribbean with Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.

Massive negative publicity about Birgenair and other discount flight organizers in Germany following the disaster mentioned below caused a sharp decline in reservations, and finally the company went into bankruptcy and closed later that same year, 1996.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 6 February 1996, Birgenair Flight 301 was bound for Frankfurt, Germany but crashed shortly after take-off from Puerto Plata Airport in the Dominican Republic into Atlantic Ocean 26 kilometres off-shore. All 176 passengers and 13 crew members, among them 154 Germans and 9 Polish people died, presumably instantantly. It was found that one of the air speed indicators of the Boeing 757-225 was not working properly due to a mud dauber wasp having made a nest in a pitot tube, confusing the pilots about whether the plane's speed was too fast or too slow. The black box, data recorder pointed to error by the captain, because instead of measuring the air speed through one of the working air speed indicators he continued to use the faulty indicator and did not return to the airport. The aircraft was leased due to a problem on the scheduled aircraft for the flight.


TC-GEN, the Birgenair 757-200 that crashed near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic
A Birgenair Boeing 737-300
A Birgenair Douglas DC-10-30
A Birgenair Boeing 727-200


External links[edit]

Media related to Birgenair at Wikimedia Commons