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Another European Airline Stops Flying

Another European Airline Stops Flying
Taylor Rains

For some passengers looking forward to a French vacation, their plans may have just been complicated. Paris-based XL Airways has ceased operations beginning September 30th at 3:00 PM local time due to “financial difficulties.” The airline’s standstill is said to be a temporary suspension until the end of the day on October 3rd, although there are confirmed doubts among the company’s management.

XL Airways said in a statement on Monday, “We apologize for the inconvenience this situation may have caused our valuable customers. Our teams are fully committed on working fully towards delivering our customers with our service.

The company’s financial issues started in January when they ordered two new A330-900s for their growing operations, but once they realized they were not going to be able to pay their debts, they sought investors to keep the company afloat. On September 19th, the airline ceased ticket sales and last week they reached out to Air France requesting nearly $39 million in aid. Unfortunately, their efforts to find investors, buyers for the airline, or receive assistance from Air France failed.

France’s Minister of Economy and Finance partially blames Norwegian Air Shuttle for XL Airways’ failure. In a statement, he claimed, “Norwegian Air is undercutting prices while in debt and receiving public funding from Norway.” He believes that this is an unfair advantage, making it difficult for XL Airways and similar airlines to prosper. Norwegian denied the claim, stating, “Our routes between France and the U.S. have been embraced by French and American travelers alike, thanks to our new planes, low fares, and award-winning service.

XL Airways staffs 750 people and flew over 700,000 passengers last year. The company conducts mainly long-haul flights with destinations in the United States, Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and France. With the coming cancellations, passengers should reach out to their travel agencies, travel insurers, and credit card issuers as appropriate to see if their canceled flights are covered or if alternate travel options are available. If these options are not available, passengers should search for discounted rates on other airlines as they may be offered in this circumstance.

 

To join the FlyerTalk on XL Airways’ future, head to the forum thread on the subject.

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