Air Littoral, one of the three French regional airlines sold by SAirlines this summer, has filed a lawsuit in Switzerland to recover funds owed to it by the bankrupt Swiss group. Meanwhile, the French airline continues its own restructuring process and seeks to increase capital to offset an estimated 10- to 15-percent loss in traffic by the end of this year.
The future of the SAirGroup’s troubled French regional airline subsidiaries hung in the balance as the Swiss airline conglomerate awaited a decision from the commercial court responsible for examining offers for Air Liberté/AOM.
Marc Dufour, president of French independent regional airline Air Littoral, finds the prospects “encouraging” for this year–a bold statement coming just months after the collapse of Swissair, its former owner.
French regional airlines AOM and Air Liberté have escaped the jaws of bankruptcy through their purchase by an Air France pilot. The airlines–formerly owned by SAirGroup and French investment firm Taitbout Antibes–expect to shed 1,800 jobs, restructure and adopt a new name as part of a plan to form a viable rival to Air France.
Air Littoral, one of the troubled French regional airlines once owned by SAirGroup, has found new footing following a hard-fought agreement with employee unions. The deal ended a 48-hour strike that paralyzed the regional airline in September. The unions took strike action over the company’s compensation proposals for employees who stand to lose their jobs in the airline’s planned reorganization.
A ninth candidate has entered the race to take over ailing French regional Air Littoral following the withdrawal of Wexford Capital, the U.S.-based investment fund manager.
The latest party to eye Air Littoral, which was under bankruptcy observation until the end of last month, will officially reveal its identity in the next few days. It is understood to involve several European investment funds and a French management company.
French regional operator Air Littoral’s future is on a knife edge following the failure of Seven Group–potential buyers of the ailing airline–to pay the purchase price to a Montpellier commercial court. The money was originally due on November 15, but the court extended the deadline to December 18. Seven Group president Mario Palmonella said the money had been delayed by formalities at the London Stock Exchange.