After French airline Aigle Azur abruptly declared bankruptcy last week, the now-defunct carrier left thousands of passengers stranded around the world.
According to ABCNews.com, when Aigle Azur made the announcement Friday that it had seized operations and canceled every previously planned flight, it also revealed it had no money to compensate customers or arrange other means of transportation home for stranded passengers.
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An estimated 19,000 travelers were still stranded as of Monday afternoon, with 11,000 passengers booked on flights to and from Algeria when the bankruptcy news broke. Another 600 were scheduled to and from Mali, while the rest were stuck in places like Brazil, Portugal, Russia and Lebanon.
“I do not know when I will be able to go back because I have no money on my account.” a French woman stranded in Sao Paulo, Brazil said to local media. “I cannot buy another ticket. Sao Paulo-Paris is between 750 and 1,700 euros.”
Reuters is reporting Air France was among 14 bids submitted for the privately-held Aigle Azur, due in part to the defunct carrier’s valuable take-off and landing slots at Paris Orly Airport. Air France would also expand services on its main routes to Algeria and Lebanon.
The proposed purchase would also include Air France hiring about 70 percent of Aigle Azur flight crew members and cabin staff. The defunct carrier employed nearly 1,200 people at the time officials filed bankruptcy.
“The good news is that many have shown interest,” France’s Secretary of State for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari told Reuters.