Restart of Air Antilles is delayed due to issues in fleet maintenance

The restart of Air Antilles, which was declared bankrupt a few months ago, is taking longer than expected. The Guadeloupe-based airline now believes that flights can only start at the end of the first quarter, instead of early 2024.

The restart, led by French holding company Cipim and the government of French St. Maarten, says it has encountered obstacles related to fleet maintenance.

Cipim made the winning bid in October 2023 to acquire a slimmed-down version of Air Antilles from former owner Groupe Caire. A necessary audit to be allowed to start flying again could take place in January or February, says Jérôme Arnaud. He is Deputy Director General of Edeis, the airport operator’s holding company.

Cipim aims to retain five of Air Antilles’ ten aircraft, with the new venture tentatively named Sem New Air Antilles.

For many years, the old Air Antilles was an important cooperation partner of Winair, based on Sint Maarten. Together, the two airlines operated flights from St. Maarten to the ABC Islands. The cooperation came to a halt after dissatisfaction among the staff of Air Antilles led to prolonged strikes, followed by the bankruptcy of Air Antilles parent Groupe Caire.


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