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

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Aigle Azur was second only to Air France when it came to French airlines, but it filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

The second biggest airline in France has closed down after it failed to find new investors, leaving hundreds out of work.

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

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

Its biggest shareholder was Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which had a 49% stake.

The closure of the airline was ordered by a French commercial court after no sustainable offers arrived – a ruling that has caused the loss of 1,150 jobs.

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

And most notably, Thomas Cook collapsed after it failed to secure an extra £200m needed to keep it afloat.

The group employed 21,000 people in 16 countries, operating 105 aircraft and 200 own-brand hotels and resorts, and also had 550 stores in the UK – many of which were running at a loss.

Thomas Cook aircraft parked up at Manchester Airport
Image:The French airline’s collapse follows the liquidation of Thomas Cook

Earlier this year, it admitted it had debts of £1.6bn with an annual interest payment on that debt of £150m.

Sky News has learned some of those who lost their job will be wearing their uniform again next weekfor a demonstration outside Downing Street, demanding a investigation into how Thomas Cook was allowed to collapse.

Credit: Sky News
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