The European Union’s competition regulators have initiated a comprehensive investigation into the revised restructuring plan of French airline Corsair, aiming to assess its potential to restore long-term viability while minimizing distortions to competition. The investigation, launched on Monday, focuses on France’s request to amend a restructuring plan approved by the European Commission in 2020, citing unforeseeable external events that severely impacted Corsair.
Corsair, headquartered at Paris-Orly airport, primarily serves the French outermost regions of the Caribbean, including Martinique and Guadeloupe, as well as destinations in Africa. The airline has faced significant challenges due to the ongoing global pandemic, prompting French authorities to seek EU approval for alterations to the previously sanctioned restructuring plan.
The European Commission will scrutinize whether Corsair’s contributions, as well as those from the market, towards the restructuring costs, are adequate and free from any form of aid. Additionally, the investigation will assess the proportionality of state aid provided to Corsair, ensuring that France receives appropriate remuneration for any subsidies granted.
France’s argument for the necessity of plan adjustments revolves around exceptional and unforeseeable external events that have adversely affected Corsair’s operations. The EU competition regulators will delve into the merits of these claims and evaluate whether the proposed restructuring plan strikes a balance between revitalizing the airline and maintaining fair competition within the market.
Corsair’s role in connecting the French outermost regions with mainland Europe and Africa has positioned it as a vital player in the aviation industry. The outcome of the investigation is eagerly anticipated, as it will not only impact Corsair’s future but also set a precedent for how EU regulators handle restructuring plans in the wake of unforeseen external events.