Air Lib

rocaduro

Member
Aug 20, 2002
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Air Lib loses AOC; IMCA says Airbus to blame
Dateline: Friday February 07, 2003
Air Lib’s entire fleet stayed grounded yesterday after its operating license expired Wednesday night when the French commercial aviation authority declined a further extension to France’s second-largest scheduled airline.
The decision followed the refusal of Dutch group IMCA to sign a draft agreement, French Transport Minister Gilles de Robien said. He added that he “deplores the fact that the negotiations could not be concluded despite all the efforts that [the government] has made for months, and that were pursued until late in the night.†He also said Air France was asked to give priority to hiring Air Lib employees. The Air Lib group employs around 3,200 people, of whom 2,800 work for the airline.
Air Lib Chairman Jean-Claude Corbet confirmed that the carrier lost its operating license but said this does not “automatically lead to the bankruptcy of the airline.†He also said IMCA had not yet “walked away from the negotiations but was awaiting answers “on different questions.â€
IMCA, which emerged last year as the only interested investor, blamed Airbus for the outcome. “We hold Airbus responsible for this failure,†VP Harm Prinsen said. “We had absolutely no possibility of reaching a deal with Airbus; they proposed a price that was not close to anything we were expecting.†IMCA made its acquisition of the debt-laden carrier conditional on a bargain price for 29 A319s to replace Air Lib’s aging and diverse fleet.
The demise of Air Lib, which holds some 45,000 slots at Paris Orly, will be welcome news to easyJet. For more than two years the British budget carrier has wanted to set up a base at Orly but has not been able to obtain sufficient slots. Toulouse-based charter airline Aeris also has been demanding slots at Orly.
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It''s a shame!!
 
OP
R

rocaduro

Member
Aug 20, 2002
38
0
Air Lib employees temporarily blocked a runway at Paris Orly and staged several protests at other airports in France Friday and Monday and said more demonstrations are in the works. The Commercial Court of Creteil launched a so-called procedure of conciliation and will decide by Friday at the latest if the company will be declared bankrupt. Its fleet was grounded after it lost its operating license last Thursday. Meanwhile, Air Lib Chairman and CEO Jean-Charles Corbet said he has at least “two other possible investors, besides IMCA†and vowed to do everything possible to avoid a bankruptcy filing. Minister of Transport Gilles de Robien sounded less optimistic about the carrier’s future, saying, “I certainly do not want to disappoint the employees once more with false hopes.†Secretary of Transport Dominique Bussereau added that it will be “surprising†if a new investor “would show up within the next days while we’re waiting some months.†But he added, “With Air Lib, everything is possible.â€

Separately, the French High Court rejected a request by Air Lib to reinstate its operating license (ATWOnline, Feb. 7).
 

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