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France orders Air Littoral to stop flying

Published on 16/02/2004

PARIS, Feb 14 (AFP) - French regional airline Air Littoral was grounded Saturday after the transport ministry announced it had not renewed its license, which expired on February 13.

Last August a French commercial court ordered Air Littoral, based in the southern town of Montpellier with 444 employees and 17 airplanes, to be placed in receivership at the company’s request.

The company filed for bankruptcy because the carrier was unable to make payments on
EUR 60 million (USD 65.5 million) owed to the state.

In a statement late Friday the ministry said the company Filature du Favreuil, a subsidiary of finance group Alain Dumenil appointed administrator on February 5 by a Montpellier court, had been unable to provide the receipts and funds necessary for the granting of a new license to the airline.

In 2002 Air Littoral, the biggest French regional airline, carried 1.6 million passengers and generated sales of EUR 250 million, but chalked up a loss of EUR 40 million.


                                                              Subject: France news