MARIGOT/POINT-A-PITRE -The anticipated relaunch of Air Antilles from Pointe-à-Pitre has encountered unexpected challenges, potentially delaying its resumption of flight operations from the initially planned January 2024 to February or March, as reported by news site FranceAntilles.
The relaunch, led by French holding company Cipim and the Collectivity of Saint Martin, is facing hurdles related to fleet maintenance, and a request for partial unemployment filed by the employer. Cipim won the bid in October to acquire a scaled-down Air Antilles from former owner Groupe Caire, excluding the defunct Air Guyane.
Despite ongoing investigations into approval requests by state services, a certification audit is planned in January for a potential February flight restart, according to Jérôme Arnaud, deputy general director of Edeis, the airport operator’s holding company.
The liquidation phase of former owner Groupe Caire is still underway, with workforce reinstatements and fleet airworthiness contributing to the extended timeline for the carrier’s relaunch. Cipim aims to retain five of Air Antilles’ ten aircraft, with the new company provisionally named Sem New Air Antilles. The process of obtaining a new air operator’s certificate is expected to take approximately three months.