Approximately thirteen thousand passengers were abandoned abroad when the French airline, Aigle Azur, began filing for bankruptcy. According to the French Secretary of State for transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, 11,000 of these unsuspecting travellers were left in Algeria.
Aigle Azur transported nearly 2 million people in 2018. A week ago, the airline filed for bankruptcy and called off all of their flights on Friday evening. Djebbari affirmed that the airline’s falling through has impacted its employees and crew members, as well as thousands of travellers.
What will happen to the passengers?
Yesterday, Djebbari said in an interview with RMC, “There are 13,000 passengers who bought their tickets and will need to be repatriated. Among them, 11,000 are in Algeria, six in Mali, then in Lebanon, in Moscow, and in Senegal.”
Attempts to recover these travellers may take several weeks according to Djebbari.
“On Friday night, I had a meeting with all French airlines and I asked them to play their part in the repatriation. I especially would like to thank Air France for chartering additional flights to Algeria,” Djebbari said. “We think that over the course of three weeks we will have dealt with most of the passenger flow”.
What will happen to Aigle Azur?
Aigle Azur focused mainly on flights between France and Algeria, before failed efforts to branch out to the entire Maghreb. So far, the airline has had over a dozen takeover bids, according to the French Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC). Some of those who are bidding include Air France and EasyJet. The Dubreuli Group also put forward a partial takeover offer.
Airlines might be drawn to Aigle Azur’s landing slots at Paris’ second biggest airport, Orly. The bids will be discussed at a meeting at the end of the week.