XL Airways is Finished

Photo credit: Maxime / Wikimedia Commons / CCA-SA 2.0 (this photo has been cropped)

Despite a last-minute offer, the Bobigny Commercial Court pronounced on Friday the liquidation of the low-cost airline XL Airways.

The proposal of Gérard Houa, a Franco-Chinese businessman and former minority shareholder of Aigle Azur, which also filed for bankruptcy in September, was deemed inadmissible by the court. “The judges thought that his promise to provide 30 million euros was not credible,” said a source close to the case. “He could not provide proof that he had the money at his disposal.”


XL Airways’s 570 employees will therefore be laid off. The 130,000 passengers who had bought tickets on the airline will have to find another way to travel. Those who had purchased their tickets through a travel agency can expect to be offered an alternative, and potentially a refund. On its website, XL also advises that purchasers contact travel insurance and credit card companies, some of which — though it’s rare — offer a reimbursement for this scenario.

Several airlines have introduced preferential fares for XL Airways customers who purchased a ticket on a cancelled flight. Both French Bee and Corsair are offering this, but in both cases the preferential fare is only available to passengers who have already started their journey and need a return ticket.