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Airlines

Name: AIR-LIB
7JetSet7 Code: ALB
Status: Currently Not Operational
Region: EUROPE
City: PARIS
Country: FRANCE
Employees 3200
Web: air-liberte.fr
Email:
Telephone: +33 (1) 49 79 23 00
Fax: +33 (1) 46 86 50 95
Sita: ORYCSVD
Background
(definitions)

STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1988. DOMESTIC, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL, SCHEDULED AND CHARTER, PASSENGER AND CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.

OCTOBER 1995: TO SAINT-DENIS DE LA REUNION, FORT-DE-FRANCE, MONTREAL, POINT-A-PITRE, SALZBURG, TOULOUSE, AND EUROPEAN & MEDITERRANEAN RESORTS.

(ILF) OWNS 12%, (ERA) 10%, BELHASSINE 6%.

LOFTI BELHASSINE, PRESIDENT, PLANS TO ACQUIRE AOM (MNR) (WITH $200,000 CAPITAL), NEGOTIATING WITH CREDIT LYONNAIS, PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDER. BOTH AIRLINES ARE BASED AT ORLY AIRPORT.

DECEMBER 1995: EURALAIR (ERA) TAKES 10% FOR EXCHANGE OF ORLY - MADRID & TOULOUSE ROUTES +3 737-200'S. NEW ROUTE TO LONDON GATWICK (LGW) (MD-83). WITH LIBERALISATION OF FRENCH SKIES IN JANUARY 1996, PLANS FOR 23 NEW DOMESTIC ROUTES.

BIDS TO TAKE OVER AOM FRENCH AIR;INES (MNR) ARE STYMIED.

JANUARY 1996: 1995 = +$2.5M (NET PROFIT): 2.25M PASSENGERS (PAX).

FEBRUARY 1996: EMPLOYEES NOW 1,168, & 1,400 BY END OF 1996.

1 DC-10-30ER, EX-FINNAIR (FIN). 1 A310-200, (ILF) 1 YEAR LEASED.

MARCH 1996: TO CASABLANCA. BORDEAUX TO NEWARK (A300, 317 PAX, A310, 247 PAX) (APPLICATION OBJECTED TO BY (TWA), DELTA AIRLINES (DAL), UNITED AIRLINES (UAL) & CONTINENTAL AIRLINES (CAL).

MAY 1996: 1 737-200C (JT8D-9A), EX-EURALAIR (ERA).

JULY 1996: 1ST 6 MONTHS = -$31M.

SEPTEMBER 1996: COURT GIVES AIR LIBERTE (ALB) 6 MONTHS TO RESOLVE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS. PRESS SAYS (ALB) WILL LAY OFF 285 EMPLOYEES. STILL ON TRACK FOR MERGER WITH AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR).

1 BAC 111-500 (193), EUROPEAN AVIATION WET-LEASED FOR 4 MONTHS.

OCTOBER 1996: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1996 = -$120M.

FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION.

BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) (OWNS 70%) COMBINED WITH RIVAUD GROUP, PARIS (30%), OFFERED TO BUY AIR LIBERTE (ALB) FOR $123M. ALSO, OFFERS FROM CORSAIR (COR), BY OWNER NOUVELLE FRONTIERES, WHO ALSO WANT TO TAKE OVER AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR).

NOVEMBER 1996: BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) GETS FRENCH COURT OK FOR 67% STAKE IN AIR LIBERTE (ALB), WITH $86M INJECTION WITH BANK RIVAUD, WHO ALREADY OWNS 32.4%, TO INJECT $37M.

MARC ROCHET, CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR.

(BAB)'S TAT (TTR) & (ALB) WILL HAVE 22% SHARE OF DOMESTIC MARKET. (BAB) WILL OPERATE 13 (ALB) AIRPLANES: 3 737-200'S, 3 DC-10'S, AND 7 MD-83'S. (ALB) HAS 23 AIRPLANES, INCLUDING 3 737-200C'S, 5 DC-10'S, & 3 A310'S. 1,900 EMPLOYEES TO BE REDUCED TO 1,250. (BAB) COST = # 440 FF, & BANQUE RIVAUD = # 250 FF. (BAB) MAY MERGE (ALB) WITH TAT (TTR).

RETURNED 2 A300B4-600R'S (PW4158), 2 A310-200'S (JT8D-7R4D1), & 1 A310-300 (PW4152) TO (ILF).

MARCH 1997: 1 MD-83 (JT8D-219), EX-(CNL).

APRIL 1997: 1,450 EMPLOYEES.

STRIKE BY PILOTS ENDS AFTER 17 DAYS (ALONG WITH (TTR).

JUNE 1997: 1 DC-10-30 (47957) RETURNED TO LESSOR.

NOVEMBER 1997: TAT (TTR) & AIR LIBERTE (ALB), ARE NOW FLYING UNDER ONE NAME = "AIR LIBERTE." NOW HAS 46 AIRPLANES, 2,600 EMPLOYEES, WITH 27 DOMESTIC & 3 INTERNATIONAL ROUTES.

DECEMBER 1997: MAINTENANCE CONTRACT TO (LAB), FRANCE, FOR HEAVY MAINTENANCE & COMPONENT REPAIR/OVERHAUL FOR 8 MD-83'S, 7 F 100'S, 8 F 28'S, & 7 ATR42/72'S.

JANUARY 1998: 1 DC-10-30 (345-48265), RETURNED FROM FINNAIR (FIN). 1 F 100 (TAY 620-15), EX-DEUTSCHE BA (DBA).

JUNE 1998: 1 MD-83 (49943), EX-(SWH), GECAS (GEH) LEASED.

OCTOBER 1998: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1997 = -$125M (-$250M).

737-300 (23927) RETURNED TO LESSOR, LEASED TO GO FLY (GFL).

NOVEMBER 1998: MAIN SHAREHOLDER, BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) PUTS ITS IMAGE ON AIR LIBERTE (ALB)'S EXTERIORS, AND CABIN INTERIORS. TAILS HAVE MOSTLY SYMBOLIC FRENCH TOPICS, SUCH AS THE HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION, OR THE LOUVRE MAIN ENTRANCE.

DECEMBER 1998: TEAMS WITH FRENCH REGIONAL AIRLINE, "FLANDRE AIR," TO EXPAND BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) FRANCHISE BY +22 ROUTES, AND 18 AIRPLANES. BASED IN LILLE, STARTED SERVICES IN 1985, WAS LAUNCH OPERATOR WITH 10/10 ORDERS (10/99) EMBRAER RJ-135'S, HAD 300,000 PASSENGERS IN 1997, OWNED BY FAMILY OF PRESIDENT, LUC DELASALLE.

3 MAIN HUBS AT ORLY, RENNES, AND LILLE.

HAS ACCORD WITH "AIR OPEN SKY," A PARIS-BASED STARTUP, SPECIALIZING IN AD HOC CHARTER OPERATIONS, WHO WILL OPERATE 2 ATR-300'S OF (ALB). AIR OPEN SKY ALSO OPERATES +2 OTHER ATR42'S & 4 METRO 3'S ON ITS OWN BEHALF.

FEBRUARY 1999: 1 MD-83 (49628), EX-AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR), CRANE LEASED. MD-83 (JT8D-219) (F-GPZA) HAS "LOUVRE PYRAMID" ON TAIL.

APRIL 1999: 2,560 EMPLOYEES. SITA: ORYCSVD.

1 ATR72 (PW124B), EX-VIETNAM (VIE).

JULY 1999: ERIC SHULTZ, DIRECTOR GENERAL, EX-TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, REPLACES FRANCOIS LEPINOY. PHILIPPE DELISLE, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR.

JANUARY 2000: 2 MD-82'S (48019; 48059), EX-SUN AIR (SUQ), SAFAIR (SFA) 4 YEAR LEASED.

FEBRUARY 2000: AIR LIBERTE (ALB) POSSIBLE SALE TO AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR) BY BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) FOR # UKL50M.

MARCH 2000: AIR FRANCE (AFA) MAKES BID TO TAKE OVER AIR LIBERTE (ALB) FOR # 600M F. (AFA) WOULD ACQUIRE ANOTHER 22% OF PARIS ORLY SLOTS, FOR A TOTAL 65%. ITS ONLY LARGE, DOMESTIC COMPETITOR WOULD BE SAIRGRP (SWS), WHO CONTROL AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR) & AIR LITTORAL.

APRIL 2000: 2,800 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 300 FLIGHT CREW (FC), & 800 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA)).

(http://www.air-liberte.fr).

MAY 2000: BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) SELLS ITS CONTROLLING STAKE IN AIR LIBERTE(ALB) FOR $72.31M TO TAITBOUT ANTIBES, A DUTCH FINANCIAL INSTITUTION, WHO ALREADY HOLD 50.1% IN AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR), AND 18% IN AIR LITTORAL. SAIRGROUP (SWS) OWNS 49.9% AOM (MNR), & 49% IN AIR LITTORAL. THESE 3 AIRLINES MAKE 2ND LARGEST GROUP IN FRANCE. (ALB) & AOM (MNR) HAVE 30% OF SLOTS AT PARIS ORLY. AOM (MNR) IS PRIMARILY LONG-HAUL TO CARIBBEAN, WHEREAS (ALB) HAS EXTENSIVE DOMESTIC NETWORK, & AIR LITTORAL HAS STRONG, INTRA-EUROPEAN, REGIONAL TRAFFIC. (ALB) WILL STILL FLY FROM ORLY, BORDEAUX, & TOULOUSE FOR (BAB). AIR LITTORAL IS A MEMBER OF TEAM LUFTHANSA (DLH), WHICH IS TO BE TERMINATED IN 2 YEARS. A MERGER BETWEEN (ALB) & AOM (MNR) IS LIKELY. MERGED AIRLINES WOULD HAVE 6,740 EMPLOYEES. (ALB) HAS DIFFICULTY COMPETING WITH AIR FRANCE (AFA), AND ALSO WITH EXPANDED SERVICES OF FAST RAIL LINK (TGV) BETWEEN MAJOR CITIES.

ALEXANDRE COUVALAIRE, AOM (MNR) CHAIRMAN IS EXPECTED TO REPLACE (ALB)'S MARC ROCHET.

1999 = 4.18M PASSENGERS (PAX) (+4.8%).

ACCDT: AIR LIBERTE (ALB) MD-80, ON TAKEOFF AT PARIS (CDG), COLLIDED ON RUNWAY WITH TIP OF LEFT WING, WITH AN ALL-CARGO SHORTS 360, KILLING SAAB CO-PILOT & SERIOUSLY INJURING CAPTAIN OF SAAB.

JULY 2000: PAUL REUTLINGER, CEO, EX-SABENA (SAB) CEO.

HUBS AT PARIS ORLY AND NICE.

1999 = -$37.6M.

AUGUST 2000: EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) OK'S ACQUISITION BY AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR), OF PARTICIPATIONS AERONAUTIQUES, PARENT COMPANY OF AIR LIBERTE (ALB), & TAT (TTR).

SEPTEMBER 2000: 2 ORDERS (10/00) MD-82'S (49115, 64), EX-AUSTRIAN AIRLINES (AUL), SAFAIR (SFA) 5 YEAR LEASED. 1 MD-83 (49402), EX-AERO LLOYD (ACH), FINOVA (GRB) LEASED.

OCTOBER 2000: AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR) OPERATES, PARIS ORLY - GENEVA, WITH (ALB) F 100 FOR SWISSAIR (SWS).

NOVEMBER 2000: 2 F 100'S (11261; 11344), RETURNED TO LESSOR.

DECEMBER 2000: 1 MD-82 (1182-49164), SAFAIR (SFA) LEASED.

FEBRUARY 2001: OWNER, SAIRGROUP (SWS), NOW SAYS AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR) ONLY WILL MERGE WITH AIR LIBERTE (ALB), TO RETAIN THE NAME "AIR LIBERTE," AND AIR LITTORAL WILL BE LEFT SEPARATE TO CONTINUE ITS REGIONAL FOCUS.

PAUL REUTLINGER, CEO, RESIGNS DUE TO DISAGREEMENT WITH NEW SAIRGROUP (SWS) STRATEGY.

APRIL 2001: AIR LIBERTE (ALB), AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR), & AIR LITTORAL, TOGETHER 2000 = -$344.

2,800 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 300 FC, & 800 CA).

MAY 2001: COMBINED WITH AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR), PLANS TO LAY OFF -1,300. (MNR) AND (ALB) GO ON STRIKE TO PROTEST LAYOFFS.

1 F 100 (11344, F-GNLJ), TO CORSE MEDITERRANEE.

JUNE 2001: LONDON CONSULTING COMPANY, AITI, OFFERS $450M, FOR (ALB)/(MNR). (ALB)/(MNR) FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY. AERIS (AEY) SHOWED INTEREST IN ACQUIRING CHARTER ACTIVITIES, (25%) OF (ALB)/(MNR).

AUGUST 2001: AOM FRENCH AIRLINES (MNR)/AIR LIBERTE (ALB) RESCUE PLAN, BY JEAN-CHARLES CORBET, FORMER HEAD OF AIR FRANCE (AFA) PILOT UNION, AND CURRENT A340 PILOT, UNDER PROJECT "HOLCO," HAS BEEN APPROVED BY FRENCH BANKRUPTCY COURT. CORBET WILL BECOME CHAIRMAN.

4 F 100'S SOLD TO TAM BRAZIL (TPR).

SEPTEMBER 2001: CHANGES ITS NAME FROM "AIR LIBERTE" TO "AIR LIB" (ALB), WHICH INCLUDES THE MERGED, "AOM FRENCH AIRLINES" (MNR).

NOVEMBER 2001: IN 12/01, "AIR LIB" WILL START DAILY SERVICE TO ALGERIA. PARIS ORLY - LOURDES/TARBES.

GROUNDS 4 MD-80'S. 2 A340-211'S (038; 043), RETURNED TO AIRBUS (AFIS).

JANUARY 2002: GOVERNMENT OK'S # EUR30.5M LOAN TO AIR LIB (ALB).

JEAN-CHARLES CORBET, CEO, REPLACES FRANCOIS BACHELET.

TO ALGIERS (MD-83, 2 CLASS, 159 PAX, 2/DAY).

AVERTED BANKRUPTCY BY SECURING $54.4M (# EUR61M) IN NEW CAPITAL FROM UNKNOWN INVESTOR, AND WILL CUT -300 JOBS FROM ITS WORKFORCE OF 2,500 (-12%).

FEBRUARY 2002: PLANS TO CONVERT ITSELF PARTLY INTO A LOW-COST CARRIER, AND OFFER NO-FRILLS SERVICE TO AT LEAST 10 DESTINATIONS IN FRANCE AND EUROPE, STARTING IN 4/02.

MARCH 2002: IN 4/02, CODE SHARE WITH LIBYAN ARAB AIRLINES (LAA) AND AFRIQIYHA (AQY), TO TRIPOLI. PARIS (ORLY) - BEJAIA (ALGERIA) (6/WEEK) AND PARIS (ORLY) - HASSI MESSAOUD (WEEKLY).

APRIL 2002: 2,259 EMPLOYEES.

(TELEPHONE: +33 (1) 49 79 23 00). (FAX: +33 (1) 46 86 50 95).

MAIN BASE: PARIS ORLY (ORY).

IN SUMMER, TO CONSTANTINE, ORAN, AND TRIPOLI, AS WELL AS TO PORTUGAL AND CUBA.

May 2002: MD-83 (49823) returned to lessor. 1 ATR42-300 (008, F-GEQJ) delivery.

August 2002: Code share with Cubana (CUB), Paris Orly to Havana and Santiagi de Cuba.

Plans to replace its MD-83's with A319/A320's.

September 2002: Transfers its services to the Antilles and Reunion, from Paris (CDG) to Paris Orly (ORY).

October 2002: FY 2001 = -# EUR60M/-$130M.

Jean-Charles Corbet, President says they will lay off 1,300 employees, if French government does not grant traffic rights to Abidjan, Bamako, and Ougadougou.

Paris (ORY) - Tripoli (2/week). Lille - Marseille/Nice. Nice - Toulouse (MD-83, daily). Resumes service to Biarritz.

Has carried nearly 300,000 passengers/month between Paris and 6 domestic destinations and are meeting growing competition with the (TGV) high-speed trains. To extend its route system to Rome, Milan, Venice, and Pisa.

1 A321, Air Mediterranee (AMV) wet-leased.

November 2002: Paris (ORY) to Figari (5/week).

Government has extended (ALB)'s licence until end of 1/03, to repay # EUR 90M/$90.6M Government loan.

Dutch (IMCA) group, acquires 50% stake, and injects # EUR 150M/$150M into the financially troubled (ALB). (IMCA), with an annual turnover of # EUR 400M, has interests in Metropolis and KLM regional Air Excel. (IMCA) head, Erik De Vlieger is considering splitting Air Lib from Air Lib Express to create Europe's 3rd major low-cost airline. Doubts linger over whether (ALB) can repay its debt to the Government, which De Vlieger has stressed he will not do. Jean-Charles Corbet, CEO, in an effort to show efforts to cut costs, says he will lay off about -500 of the 3,200 staff, with most of the cuts in the West Indies, which are suffering an unprecedented slump in tourism, which would hit Aor Lib (ALB)'s routes to Guadeloupe, and Martinique.

December 2002: In 3/03, Paris (ORY) to Munich.

January 2003: Air Lib (ALB)'s shutdown appears imminent, as Dutch group, (IMCA) withdraws its offer to invest in the carrier.

February 2003: Although (IMCA) Chairman, Erik de Vlieger had staged a dramatic walkout from last month's trade union meeting, he continues to try to gain an agreement on a 30% productivity increase whilst simultaneously negotiating a deal with Airbus for 29 new A319's to replace Air Lib (ALB)'s aging fleet. (ALB)'s Air Operators Certificate (AOC) has been extended for a short time.

(ALB) loses its (AOC), and entire fleet is grounded.

Files for bankruptcy.

June 2003: In the final report of the parliamentary enquiry into the reasons for the demise of Air-Lib (ALB), France's 2nd largest airline, the former Chairman & CEO, Jean-Charles Corbet, is being accused of personal enrichment. It states that the payment of vast sums to Corbet "could be constitutive of abuse of social funds." Transport Minister, Gilles de Robien said the report on the bankruptcy of (ALB) revealed an "enormous mess" at the airline. "I accuse nobody," he said. "From a legal point of view, it's up to the judicial authorities to conclude. But morally, I'm choked." (ALB)'s demise led to the loss of -3,200 jobs.

November 2003: 3 DC-10-30's sold to Lapland Air.

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
ALB MD-83
ALB-1
ALB-DC-10-30-A
ALB-DC-10-30
ALB-DC-10
ALB

November 2003:

0 737-200 (JT8D-7B), EX-ERA, 3 RTND.

0 737-200C (JT8D), 2 RTND.

0 737-3YO (CFM56-3) (1562-23926, /88 26 23), EX-(TBL), (BBB) LSD TIL 2000-03, RTND, LST (GFL).

2 MD-82 (48019; 48059) EX-(SUQ), (SFA) 4 YR LSD 2000-01. 157Y.

2 MD-82 (1135-49115; 1182-49164), EX-(AUL), (SFA) 5 YR LSD. 157Y.

6 MD-83 (JT8D-219), 1 EX-CNL (49943, EX-SWH) (49968), 49822 RTND (ILF) 2001-06, LST (KHO). 49707 RTND 2001-04. 49823 RTND 2002-05. 49985 OPS FOR (ALB) EXPRESS. 157Y.

0 MD-83 (JT8D-219) (49402), EX-(ACH), (GRB) LSD 6 MTHS 2000-09, RTND, LST (SBE).

1 MD-83 (JT8D-219) (49628), EX-(MNR), CRANE AVIATION LSD 1999-02, 157Y.

11 DC-10-30 (CF6-50C2B) (345-48265), 5 EX-(FIN).

2 A300-600, 2 RTND.

0 A310-200, 2 RTND.

0 A310-300, 1 RTND.

1 A321, (AMV) WET-LSD 2002-10.

2 A340-200.

1 ORDER (2/03) A340-313X (438; 446). (438, F-GTUC) NTU.

7 ATR42-300 (008, F-GEQJ, 2002-05).

3 ATR72-200 (PW124B), 1 EX-(VIE) 1999-04.

0 F 27F, 1 RETIRED.

0 F 28-2000 (11108, F-GDUU WET-LST AIR BURKINA 2001-07), 4 RTND.

0 F 100 (TAY 620-15), EX-DBA, 1 OPS FOR OCCITANIA 2000-11, (11261, F-GIOA) WET-LST OCCITANIA JET SVC 2000-11; 11344 RTND JET TRADING & LEASING 2000-11, TO CORSE MEDITERRANEE. 4 ST (TSZ) 2001-08. 2 ST (ELG) 2001-08. LAST 2 SOLD.

10/10 ORDERS (1999-10) EMBRAER RJ-135, FLANDRE AIR OPS.

Management:
(definitions)

JEAN-CHARLES CORBET, CHAIRMAN (2001-08) & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).

PASCAL MEYNARD, MANAGING DIRECTOR.

JEAN FLEURY, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR (jean.fleury@airlib.fr).

ERIC POUGEILLE, ENGINEERING MANAGER.

 
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