Air Littoral : SAirGroup stops spending money
SAirGroup has decided to take drastic measures to avoid the ruin : no more funds as soon as Monday for Air Littoral while AOM and Air Liberté have two months of reprieve. The storm over the airport.
'We transfer 80 million Swiss francs (52million euros) every day to France, for our three subsidiaries, it is not possible any longer', has declared Mario Conti speaking about AOM, Air Liberté and Air Littoral, the three French companies which were supposed to be gathered together to constitute the second French air pole. The new boss, since last March 16th, of a SAirGroup in turmoil, gave a press conference in Zurich broadcast live on Swiss television on Monday morning April 2nd. No one foresees any good coming from this press conference for the 7.000 employees of the three French companies.Some drastic measuresAs a consequence, Mario Conti has announced some drastic measures. The Nestlé's financial director, who has been called at the last minute to ensure the work out of company in financial distress, has hardly left any hope as far as French subsidiaries are concerned. Actually SAirGroup has decided to cut down expenses. As far as the regional company Air Littoral is concerned the measure is immediate and comes into effect as soon as this Monday April 2nd. A shock for the 450 employees of the company of the 'gens du sud' who are working on Nice Côte d'Azur plat-form. Air Littoral which has liquidities for only two months will have to find investors within this short lapse of time. As for the other two French companies (AOM and Air Liberté), a 2 month reprieve has been granted.The details of the new strategy of SAirGroup regarding its French subsidiaries will be announced on April 25th, during the general assembly of the group. While the recent convocation of a special works council on April 5th by Marc Rochet kept on feeding the fear of a bankruptcy filling of AOM and Air Liberté.12 billion francs of losses !As for SAirGroup, this is a serious situation. On Monday morning, Mario Conti, when he presented the accounts of the holding which is at the head Swissair, Sabena, Crossair, LTU and the three French companies AOM, Air Liberté and Air Littoral among others, was talking about the worst results of the whole company's history. The pitch was given as early as the morning even before the press conference. A release of the group indicated that losses accrued in 2000 were greatly superior to those expected by analysts, even the most pessimistic of them. The latter expected a bracket between 1.11 and 1.44 billion euros. The final figure is up to 1.89 billion francs. Around 12 billion francs of deficit for a turnover 2000 of 70 billion francs. Abyssal.As for that figure, the French companies account for 393 million euros (a bit more than 2.5 billion francs). That's the reason why, even if the group has decided to sell the assets or to take drastic measures (the charter company Balair is going to be liquidated, Swissotel, the hotel industry, is being sold, etc.), it risks to be very tough in the negotiations conducted about its French air pole. Now there's a storm over the Nice airport where Air Littoral is the pillar of the Nice hub (1.2 million passengers in 2000) and where AOM, associated to Air Liberté, provides a shuttle service to Orly in front of Air France.