AIR TRANSPORT / Air Antilles: the Collectivité de Saint-Martin and EDEIS group chosen as buyer

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The Pointe-à-Pitre Commercial Court validated, on Friday September 29, 2023, the offer to take over the assets of Air Antilles by the group consisting of the Overseas Territorial Collectivity of Saint-Martin and EDEIS.

This decision follows the judicial liquidation of the CAIRE group, parent company of Air Antilles and Air Guyane. No less than five takeover offers were then submitted. The seriousness, expertise and credibility of the group were all parameters taken into account by the Commercial Court in order to render its decision in favor of the COM/EDEIS duo. The selected project is based on two main objectives: to perpetuate Air Antilles' activity and to promote the opening up of the territories of our region to the service of its inhabitants. It is therefore with this dual responsibility that the COM/EDEIS consortium has built an offer including in particular the takeover of 120 employees, the immediate takeover of four aircraft and the addition of a 5th in the short term, the concentration on lines at departure from Pointe-à-Pitre and destination Fort-de-France, SXM Grand-Case and Saint-Barthélemy, and of course, the creation of a local mixed economy company, New Air Antilles, with capital of 2M € 60% owned by COM and 40% by EDEIS, manager of the overseas airports of Saint-Martin and Mayotte. The two players thus reinforce their driving role for regional mobility serving the populations of the Antilles. In a press release, Louis Mussington, president of the COM, declared: “My team and I are delighted that the Commercial Court, as well as the employees of Air Antilles, have understood the approach of the Collectivity of Saint-Martin and its EDEIS partner. We are resolutely part of an innovative logic of action and public policies, serving territorial development, territorial continuity, and cooperation in our region. In this sense, it was important for the COM to position itself as a committed and strong public actor in favor of the general interest. We are now hopeful of finding, with the help of our experts, a balance between a virtuous economic model, and an obligation of territorial continuity and the fight against the high cost of living, among others. Today, I would like to reassure employees, users of our lines and our partners: we will do everything we can to restore dialogue and trust. It’s in all of our interests.” For his part, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen, president of EDEIS, expressed himself in these terms: “It is a great pride and a great responsibility to take over Air Antilles two decades after its creation. We are convinced that the West Indians must be able to benefit from an accessible and adapted transport offer, essential to opening up their territories.” Less fortunate, the company Air Guyane was placed in liquidation by the Commercial Court, leading to the dismissal of 78 employees. _VX

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