French air carrier Aigle Azur (ZI/AAF) cancelled all regular flight operations on Friday, September 6th at midnight. The company asked for the bankruptcy protection in French court a few days ago. However, two planes that are wet leased to TAP Portugal (TP/TAP) continued with flight operations on Saturday according to regular flight schedules. That means the company is not finally closed yet.
Aigle Azur was founded in 1946. From the begining, the operational base was at Orly Airport in Paris. They started operations with a few Junkers JU-52s and their first destinations were in Tunisia and Lebanon. Their current market is very similar. Their destinations are mostly in northern Africa, particularly Algeria. Since 2012, the company has been invested in by the Chinese investor HNA Group, which is also the owner of Chinese air carrier Hainan Airlines (HU/CHH) and several smaller Chinese air carriers. After HNA Group has entered into the ownership of the French air carrier, they started flying to destinations in the east, manily to Russia and China.
Aigle Azur ended its operations with the fleet of 8 Airbus A320s, a single Airbus A319, and two Airbus 330-200s. Previously they also operated Airbus A321s and Boeing 737s in following versions: 737-200, 737-300 and 737-400.
Aigle Azur has never operated any regular flights to Croatia, except some charter flights mostly to Dubrovnik and Zadar. Charter flights to Croatia planned for this year were supposed to be finnished by the end of August, so the current end of operations should not cause any problems in Croatia. The photo in this article is from last year, when Aigle Azur flew five of their Airbus A320s to Dubrovnik on a single charter deal.
Photo © Katarina Radović (DBV/2018)