Passengers Stranded as IATA Suspends Bankrupt French Low-Cost Carrier

September 14, 2019 / Comments (0)

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About 13,000 AIgle Azur passengers were left stranded after the French low-cost carrier declared bankruptcy.

Aigle Azur declared bankruptcy last week which further led to their suspension by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The airline cancelled its flights leaving the majority of the passengers stranded in Algeria. Others were left in Senegal, Mali, Lebanon and Russia.

IATA suspended all ticketing activities urging all travel agents to suspend ticketing activities on behalf of the airline.

“BSP Travel Agents must immediately suspend all ticketing activities on behalf of Aigle Azur, including the use of all automated systems for processing of refunds or other transactions on behalf of Aigle Azur. BSP Travel Agents must immediately stop using Aigle Azur’s name and numeric code as a ticketing airline, “Juan Antonio Rodriguez, IATA Global Delivery Center said.

Travel agents were further urged to settle outstanding billings directly with the airline.

The outstanding billing, Mr. Rodriguez said, will include any amount due to or from an airline to an agent for which the Remittance Date has not yet occurred – whether or not the underlying ticket sale occurred post-suspension.

All agents with outstanding billings which include pending sales and pending refund claims or any future transactions have been advised to settle the matter directly with the now defunct airline.

“For remittance purposes, this means that the total amounts to be paid by BSP Travel Agents to the BSP for future Remittance Dates shall not contain any amounts due to or from Aigle Azur, including any refund actually or potentially owing by Aigle Azur. Again, no refunds may be deducted or carried out from Aigle Azur’s Outstanding Billings, pending sales, or any other future transaction,” the IATA official further said in a statement.

Travel agents are also required to adjust direct debit payments or advance payments made before the next remittance.

Agents who have already made remittances to the clearing bank ahead of the next remittance date have been asked to follow up with Aigle Azur while those issuing payment via Direct Debit should adjust the settlement amount following laid down instructions whereby, they may be required to use manual payment for this settlement.

“Failure to adjust your remittance in accordance with these instructions may result in the excess amount being withheld by IATA in accordance with applicable law, and completion by IATA of any required adjustments (such as the removal of refund claims). All amounts remitted by BSP Travel Agents to IATA for Aigle Azur will be withheld by IATA pending an analysis of applicable law. It is possible that applicable law may require these funds to be paid to the Airline rather than returned to the BSP Travel Agents,” IATA cautioned.

The closure of the airline that was recorded to have 1.9 passengers in 2018 has also affected 1, 150 employees and 500 crew members.

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