Air France and its low-cost subsidiary Transavia are the big winners in the redistribution of the traffic rights of defunct Aigle Azur. Ryanair, easyJet and Vueling are the big losers.
AsAir France did not need to take over Aigle Azur, which went bankrupt in September, to get most of its traffic rights. It only had to wait for these rights to be redistributed, without spending one cent.
The Air France-KLM Group already obtained more than 30% of the Aigle Azur slots at Paris Orly airport in early December, and now it could get most of the traffic rights of the defunct company, particularly on the juicy Franco-Algerian market.
Transavia, the low-cost subsidiary of Air France, obtained most of the rights between Paris and Algiers, to which it adds the route between Paris and Oran, already flown by Air France.
Transavia also obtains the rights to operate Paris-Constantine, Paris-Sétif, Paris-Tlemcen, Lyon-Béjaïa, Lyon-Constantine and Lyon-Oran. Outside Algeria, Transavia has also obtained most of the rights over Beirut.
Air France got the routes from Marseille, Nice and Toulouse to Algiers, and Toulouse-Oran.
ASL Airlines France, the French subsidiary of Ireland-based and Belgium-owned ASL Aviation, obtained the rights to the Paris-Annaba line and frequency enhancements to Algiers, as well as flights from regional cities: Lyon-Algiers, Lille-Algiers and Lille-Oran.
ASL Airlines had hoped to increase its frequencies between Paris and Algiers and also to be designated on the Paris-Oran route alongside Air France, but Transavia was chosen. Strange way to increase competition!
Volotea, the low-cost Spanish company, has obtained Lyon-Sétif and Bordeaux-Algiers, along with all Algerian destinations (except Algiers) from Marseille.
French Bee has obtained authorisations to serve Sao Paulo, while Air France also received additional flights to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in the long-haul market.
Ryanair, easyjet and Vueling did not get anything despite their repeated requests, because the distribution was reserved for companies established in France, explained the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) in its specifications.
One might expect these airlines to introduce a complaint with the European Union competition authorities.