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Bankrupt Airline Leaves Thousands of Passengers Stranded

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After French airline Aigle Azur abruptly declared bankruptcy last week, the now-defunct carrier left thousands of passengers stranded around the world.

According to airline-declares-bankruptcy/story?id=65478817″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>ABCNews.com, when Aigle Azur made the announcement Friday that it had seized operations and canceled every previously planned flight, it also revealed it had no money to compensate customers or arrange other means of transportation home for stranded passengers.

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An estimated 19,000 travelers were still stranded as of Monday afternoon, with 11,000 passengers booked on flights to and from Algeria when the bankruptcy news broke. Another 600 were scheduled to and from Mali, while the rest were stuck in places like Brazil, Portugal, Russia and Lebanon.

“I do not know when I will be able to go back because I have no money on my account.” a French woman stranded in Sao Paulo, Brazil said to local media. “I cannot buy another ticket. Sao Paulo-Paris is between 750 and 1,700 euros.”

Reuters is reporting Air France was among 14 bids submitted for the privately-held Aigle Azur, due in part to the defunct carrier’s valuable take-off and landing slots at Paris Orly Airport. Air France would also expand services on its main routes to Algeria and Lebanon.

The proposed purchase would also include Air France hiring about 70 percent of Aigle Azur flight crew members and cabin staff. The defunct carrier employed nearly 1,200 people at the time officials filed bankruptcy.

“The good news is that many have shown interest,” France’s Secretary of State for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari told Reuters.

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Airlines Scaling Back On Some In-Flight Services Due to Coronavirus

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A few airlines, including those already affected by the coronavirus outbreak, have begun scaling back on some in-flight services as a way to help fight the virus.

The Points Guy writes that Singapore Airlines – obviously based in Asia, where the coronavirus has been most dangerous after originating in China – recently sent its frequent fliers an email about such changes.

Singapore advised its customers that some in-flight amenities will be discontinued, such as hot towel service, after-takeoff drink service, removal of reading materials from seat-back pockets, and suspension of in-flight sales.

Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research, said that Chinese and Taiwanese carriers have taken similar precautionary steps based on government guidance, including removing pillows and blankets on some flights.

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“They’re changing their cabin service procedures, so the passengers will notice this,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy.

But Harteveldt also remained optimistic that passengers wouldn’t pitch a fit given the circumstances.

“Passengers will accept (the reduction in services) because they’re being done in the interest of health and wellness,” he said.

As the virus, now known as covid-19, continues to expand globally, it remains to be seen if other airlines – including those based in the U.S. who offer international travel – adopt the same practice.

The aviation industry is quite often a copycat business, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some similar changes put into place.

“As adults, we have to be logical and rational when we experience these inconveniences,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy. “This isn’t cost-cutting, this isn’t random, this is in the best interest of public health.”

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