Aigle Azur denies reports of fleet grounding

    Aigle Azur denied (08-Aug-2019) media reports suggesting lessors are pressuring the carrier to return aircraft on lease and subsequently forcing it to ground its fleet (Le Figaro/air-journal.fr, 07/08-Aug-2019). It however stated is “does not in any way deny having difficulties in a particularly difficult context”, citing ‘flygskam’, the eco contribution tax and overcapacity in Europe in winter 2018/2019. The carrier stated its fleet currently stands at 11 aircraft, nine A320s and two A330s, while it holds EUR25 million in cash flow to date. The carrier stated: “It is true that in early Jun-2019, one lessor took one A320 aircraft coming out of maintenance which it owned, using misleading means”. Aigle Azur noted it has chartered one similar aircraft in summer 2019 to assure operations, adding it intends to take back one of its two aircraft being leased to TAP Air Portugal from winter 2019. As previously reported by CAPA, the carrier closed reservations for nonstop MarseilleDakar service from 27-Jul-2019 due to fleet restructuring, and has closed reservations for Paris OrlyCampinas Viracopos service after 10-Sep-2019, its only long haul route outside EMEA, according to OAG. [more – original PR – French]