In the week that its financial situation was exposed by the newspaper Le Figaro, the airline Aigle Azur withdrew the flight between Paris and Viracopos, in Brazil, from the list of active destinations. On the company’s website it is no longer possible to buy tickets for the route to Brazil. According to Routes Online, the company only accepted reservations for flights until September 9th.
Aigle Azur currently flies four times a week between Campinas airport and Paris Orly with two leased Airbus A330-200 aircraft. However, the airline would be in serious financial difficulty, having returned one of its nine A320s in June.
Le Figaro revealed in an article on Wednesday that the company is indebted to several suppliers including its lessors. With 25 destinations and a total of 1,400 employees, Aigle Azur has its network concentrated in North Africa, but also flies to Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, Lebanon and Mali, the only route where the A330 is used as in Brazil.
Founded in 1946, the company is considered Europe’s oldest private airline. It has had several owners, but today its main shareholder is the Chinese group HNA and since 2017 David Neeleman, founder of the companies JetBlue and Azul. It was from the arrival of the businessman that Aigle Azur expanded some destinations including Brazil, its only transoceanic route.
Only foreign airline in Viracopos
The flight between Viracopos and Orly opened in July last year with three weekly frequencies and code share with Azul airline. Earlier this year, a fourth frequency was added, but in April the Brazilian airline withdrew from the partnership, casting doubt on the future of the flight.
Last month, the airline, the second largest in France, behind Air France, celebrated the first year of its flight to Brazil. According to Aigle Azur, 93,000 passengers were transported during this period, of which 40% continued to travel to destinations operated by Azul.
Aigle Azur is today the only foreign airline to operate passenger flights in Campinas, (airport near Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America) after the departure of companies such as TAP, American Airlines and Copa. Airway contacted Aigle Azur’s press office and was awaiting response until this article was published.