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Hundreds out of work as France’s second biggest airline collapses

by ace
An Airbus A320-200 aircraft, operated by Aigle Azur, lands at Orly Airport near Paris, France, September 6, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France's second largest airline closed after finding no new investors, leaving hundreds of unemployed.

Aigle Azur had about 1.9 million passengers in 2018, but was forced to file for bankruptcy earlier this month and canceled all its flights – leaving thousands of customers lost.

It has operated mainly flights between France and Algeria, but has also served routes to China, Russia, Brazil and others in recent years.

Its largest shareholder was the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which held a 49% stake.

The airline's closure was ordered by a French commercial court after no sustainable offer arrived – a decision that caused the loss of 1,150 jobs.

French junior transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said in a statement that the government would help workers find new jobs as soon as possible.

Aigle Azur is not the only low budget airline that has had financial problems recently. Another French company, the much smaller XL Airways, was forced to suspend ticket sales last week.

And most notably, Thomas Cook collapsed after he failed to secure the extra £ 200 million needed to keep him afloat.

The group employed 21,000 people in 16 countries, operating 105 aircraft and 200 private label hotels and resorts, and also had 550 stores in the United Kingdom – many of which were at a loss.

Image:
French airline collapse follows Thomas Cook's liquidation

Earlier this year, it admitted debt of £ 1.6 billion with an annual interest payment on that debt of £ 150 million.

Sky News has found that some who have lost their jobs will wear their uniform again next week for a rally outside Downing Street, demanding an investigation into how Thomas Cook was allowed to collapse.

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