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A. Ferretti: “The recovery of Air Med sparks the interest of both tourism companies and operators”

Interview of the company’s president

Placed under judicial review upon its own request, in January 2015, Air Méditerranée is continuing regularly the course of its activities. The summer program, for charter and regular flights, is currently going through an adjustment, and Antoine Ferretti, the company’s president, is already setting up for next Winter. But will the financial situation of the company allow to find a new taker? Antoine Ferretti doesn’t doubt it and answers’s questions.

Ferretti: “The gross situation of the company isn’t worsened. There’s a lot of talks around our liabilities, that goes around €70 M, but there are also our assets, that reach €56 M” - DR.
Ferretti: “The gross situation of the company isn’t worsened. There’s a lot of talks around our liabilities, that goes around €70 M, but there are also our assets, that reach €56 M” - DR. – The program of summer flights is progressively being established. How is the summer 2015 looking for Air Méditerranée?

Antoine Ferretti: Before talking about the summer, I would say that this winter 2014 is exceptional. Maybe the best since 2008.

The charter program is very dense, especially concerning the Canary Islands, where we’re working in co-charters will all of the French tour-operators.

It is also intense for Hermès Airlines, the Greek branch, with 3 plans in wet-lease.

As for the summer, the Hermès fleet will be reduced to one plane, with 3 planes on wet-lease in Moldavia, Tanzania, and Djibouti and 2 aircrafts based in Crete and in Scandinavia will establish regular charter programs.

As for Air Méditerranée, since we’re just one month and a half away from the launch of a series of flights we are currently undergoing a few adjustments. – Can we already notice the first trends? The program towards the Canary Islands will be reinforced this summer?

Antoine Ferretti: We are currently adjusting the basic program, but it is probable that there will be an additional offer on the Canary Islands with some TOs.

However, on Maghreb, we’re noticing that the program is reducing every year, it’s a global trend. – What about regular flights? There are talks about reinforcing the lines towards Algeria…

Antoine Ferretti: The program is consolidated and in fact, there will be an increase of frequencies to the point of Africa, especially on the axes Paris-Alger, and Paris-Oran.

Other new announcements will be made in the days to come. – Since January 2015, you have chosen to place yourself under the protection the Commerce Tribunal. Now under judicial review, what were the reactions of your tour-operator partners?

Antoine Ferretti: Tour-operators are in full solidarity with us because the situation is under control in order to make it easier for our company.

I think that in this context, the TOs view the situation positively, from the fact that it is controlled, rather than impossible to manage.

I’ll also specify that the gross situation of the company has not worsened. There’s a lot of talks around our liabilities, that reach around €70 M (for the time period that closed on September 30th, 2013) , but there are also our assets, that reach €56 M.”

In fact, we own a part of our fleet, as well as the offices.

In the end, the situation isn’t really bad, relative to the size of our company, for an aggregate income of €240 M.

Additionally, we’re offering a solid charter flight program that already generates more profits than regular flights.

The company has great projections and it is perfectly profitable. – Looking at an eventual recovery…

Antoine Ferretti: It is sure that our case will interest a number of companies, tourism operators or air transporters.

The discussions were already quite advanced with two sections even before starting the procedure. Since, the case is sparking interest, from French and international groups, especially from other profitable charter companies in France.

Meaning that I am very confident in the recovery, especially since the flight program is solid and the state of reservations is good. I don’t feel a particular stress concerning the duration. – On this topic, has a calendar been fixed for the tribunal? A deadline to make offers?

Antoine Ferretti: It is still premature to talk about a recovery, the calendar will be announced in a few weeks. But the procedure has begun.

On my end, I remain confident and active to prepare for next Winter.

Written by Anaïs BORIOS translated by Joséphine Foucher the 12/02/2015
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Tags : Air Med


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