Posted on: 20 September 2019 by Glenn Sands
Air France and easyJet have withdrawn their interest in rescuing French airline Aigle Air by both cancelling their bids on 20 September.
An overnight count deadline was issued to competing airlines to improve their bids, but both airlines failed to increase their offer before the cut-off period.
On Thursday, an Air France spokeswoman was quoted by Reuters confirming the airline’s decision against submitting a joint offer with Air Caraibes citing the airline’s “conditions for doing so weren’t met.”
EasyJet issued a press statement saying that it “has taken the decision to withdraw from the submission process to acquire parts of Aigle Azur’s operation.”
Aigle Azur has been urgently seeking buyers for parts of its operation, in a bid to save a proportion of its 1,150 jobs. The biggest shareholders of the airline are Brazilian entrepreneur David Neeleman and China’s HNA Group. The airline shifted into long-haul flights, but the venture was not successful and eventually resulted in the airline claiming bankruptcy with debts of 148 million euros.
Air France and easyJet were attracted by the flying rights Aigle Azur had to foreign destinations and valuable take-off and landing slots it had at Orly. Their withdrawal is a significant blow to the potential future of the airline.