XL Airways Suspends Its Operations, Abruptly Cancels Flights

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

Due to “financial difficulties,” the low-cost airline XL Airways has announced on its website the suspension of its flights from Monday, September 30 (3 p.m. Paris time) through October 3. At this point, it seems unlikely that operations will resume.

Passengers traveling during this period are advised to contact their travel agency, travel insurance provider, or credit card company for a refund, and to purchase a new ticket. Another long-haul low-cost airline, French Bee, has introduced special fares for passengers affected by this situation. Air France, Corsair, and Air Austral are offering “rescue fees” for passengers impacted by the flight cancellations.

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Placed in receivership on Thursday, September 19, the company decided to suspend its operations pending the decision of the Bobigny Commercial Court on a possible takeover. XL Airways, which operates flights between Paris and several American cities (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami), employs more than 570 people.

The company, chronically operating at a loss, has been affected by competition from new players in the low-cost segment such as Norwegian Airlines and Level. Its future is bleak. On Monday, September 30, the company had not found a buyer. Approached, Air France reiterated on Friday its lack of interest. According to XL Airways CEO Laurent Magnin, the carrier has suffered from the “unbridled international competition” from low-cost long-haul airlines and the weight of taxes and social security contributions in France.

Those who have to purchase new tickets are able to film a claim to the receiver within two months of the French court’s decision, using this link.