Thousands of passengers were reported to be stranded on Saturday because of the Aigle Azur airline bankruptcy, as the company suspended operations on Friday night because of its financial woes.
The French airline serving Algeria, Mali and Senegal issued a statement saying it could not assure any flights beyond that date because of its bankruptcy status announced earlier in the week.
“In connection with the French authorities of civil aviation and the official bodies in charge of the judicial procedures, Aigle Azur, in great economic difficulty, is unfortunately under obligation to cancel all its flights as from Saturday,” the company said.
French authorities said that left many people without flights to return to France, with Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, the country’s new transportation minister, working to find solutions for their situations.
Five airlines have stepped in to help. Air France responded to the crisis by scheduling more flights to and from Algiers, with larger aircraft on some flights to accommodate more people. That’s the case for a Bamako flight planned for Sunday.
“We are also studying all possibilities to adapt our flight schedule to and from the destinations concerned by this stoppage of operations,” said Air France in its statement. “In addition, to encourage the return of passengers, we have set up special rates for customers holding an Aigle Azur ticket and whose Aigle Azur flight is canceled.”