Air Jet restructures

Bordeaux-based Air Jet is in the middle of a substantial restructuring. The airline ran into financial problems after an ill-advised expansion using SAAB 2000s. Problems were aggravated when the BAe 146-300 it had leased was seized in Italy over debts its previous operator, National Jet Italia (NJI), had accumulated. As a result, the airline was sold to an investment group with substantial commercial interests in France and Algeria. Negotiations were underway with creditors for extended repayment terms on Air Jet’s debts. All seemed to be on track, when former Air Jet owner Jet Services suddenly pulled its contract for night cargo work on behalf of TNT and repossessed the two BAe 146-200QCs it had leased to the airline. The two 146s were flown to Dinard on 4 March, to be repainted in the colors of Marseilles-based Axis Airways, who is taking over the TNT contract. Despite this severe blow, Air Jet’s new owners are persevering in their efforts to restructure the airline. For the time being, operations continue with the remaining SAAB 2000, but negotiations are underway to secure two BAe 146 for delivery in late April. Two further 146 are also being sought.

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