EBACE Convention News

Flying Group Appeals Court Ruling

 - November 29, 2006, 10:52 AM

After a lower court rejected its lawsuit against Euralair S.A. last month, Belgium’s Flying Group has appealed to a Paris court charging Euralair failed to comply with its commitment to assign the business assets of its Euralair Airport Services FBO (EAS) to Flying Group, which has included it in its plans to set up operations at Paris Le Bourget Airport.

In early April Euralair owner Alexandre Couvelaire told EBACE Convention News the Bobigny, France commercial court “dismissed Flying Group’s claims against Euralair and EAS aimed at enforcing the sale by EAS of its FBO business.” Flying Group spokesman Ben Paindavin subsequently confirmed that an appeal would go ahead. He insisted that the planned takeover could have eased EAS’s financial problems because the deal would have cleared its debts. “The April judgment is unfair. We paid EAS a lot of money and now the judge is allowing it to be our competitor,” he said.

Flying Group president Bernard Van Milders said he and Couvelaire signed a protocol on March 25, 2005, that included the assignment to Flying Group of EAS’s business assets and its existing infrastructure at Le Bourget. He said that the business assets had not been assigned. “Couvelaire refused to hand them over although he had confirmed on October 6 that an agreement was in place on this matter,” van Milders stated.

Couvelaire insisted he had never signed an agreement to sell the FBO business. “Our agreement over the real estate is OK but. . .there was no agreement on the final terms regarding the FBO [whereby] Flying Group would have taken about 80 percent [and the rest would have remained] with Euralair,” he said.

The Euralair boss added that Flying Group had “failed to include its Cannes-Mandelieu FBO in the planned joint-venture company.” Flying Group’s Paindavin agreed there had been some changes to the original deal, but these were “minor and could have been resolved through communication.”