Aigle Azur time slots: Air France-KLM winner, Ryanair left out

Artur Buibarov

Aigle Azur bankruptcy in September 2019 left a pool of over 12,000 flight slots up for grabs. The winners and losers of this fight for slots were revealed. While Air France-KLM, Wizz Air and Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) took the best bites, Ryanair was left empty-handed. 

COHOR, the French association responsible for the coordination of flight schedules, revealed the list of airlines that would benefit from the time slots of defunct Aigle Azur at Paris-Orly Airport (ORY). Air France-KLM group, Wizz Air and Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) are among the beneficiaries of the redistribution.

A pool of 12,335 flight slots had to be redistributed after Aigle Azur went bankrupt in September 2019. However, as COHOR explained in a press release, the French state preempted the maximum of 20% of the pool for services subject to Public Service Obligations. Those 2,467 slots will thus be assigned by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC), leaving 9,868 slots (about 13 daily flights) for redistribution by the coordinator.

The newcomers in Orly are:

  • Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) (1460) with two daily flights to Munich

  • HOP! Air France (1460) with two daily flights to Frankfurt

  • Wizz Air (1460) with one daily flight to Budapest and one daily flight to Sofia

  • EasyJet UK (730) with one daily flight to Glasgow

As for operators already present in the airport:

  • Air Caribbean : 1460 slots two daily flights

  • Corsair International : 1460 slots two 2 daily flights

  • Transavia France : 1460 slots two daily flights

  • The Dreamjet Company : 312 slots three weekly flights

  • TAP Air Portugal : 66 slots for the summer season only

With 2,920 slots, or about 30% of the pool, Air France-KLM Group through its subsidiaries Hop! and Transavia is the main benefactor of the redistribution. The group already holds more than half of the time slots in Orly.

While the annual distribution was made in the light of requests for the summer 2020 season, the lucky operators that have received new slots on an annual basis will be able to begin the services in the current winter season 2019-2020 (W19).

In total, COHOR had received requests for 232,688 slots from airlines, which is almost the annual capacity of Orly. Among them, ASL Airlines France, Tassili Airlines and Volotea expected to open several routes towards Algeria, in cities such as Algiers, Oran, or Constantine. Algeria was the core business of the late Aigle Azur. Ryanair and IAG (Vueling) also left empty-handed.


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