Crossair Embraer seized

 - May 29, 2008, 8:12 AM

French authorities on December 13 acted on a court order to seize one of Crossair’s Embraer ERJ-145s at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport at the behest of Air Lib, the French airline formed through the consolidation of former Swissair subsidiaries Air Liberté and AOM.

Plaintiffs from Air Lib last month sued Crossair for a total of $562 million, claiming the bankrupt SAirLines and SAirGroup defaulted on a $54 million debt and sullied their “professional reputations.” The French company Holco, Air Lib’s new owner, claims that because Crossair became Swissair’s legal successor, it assumed liability for Swissair’s debts.

Crossair claims it knew nothing of an agreement reached between its former parent and the French companies for the transfer of the funds, and declared its intention to defend itself vigorously against the charges. A day after French officials seized the ERJ-145, a judge in Nice released the airplane to Crossair after lawyers for the airline argued their case to a French court.