PHILIPSBURG — The future of Air Antilles Express and Air Guyana hangs in the balance now that the commercial court in Point-á-Pitre is expected to rule on the possible bankruptcy of the Caire Group, the parent company of both airlines. The authorities in Guyana are preparing for a serious interruption of domestic air traffic if the bankruptcy becomes a reality.
The website franceguyane.fr reported this week that Cafom, described by archyde.com as “a furniture specialist” has withdrawn its offer to acquire the Caire Group because of opposition from Guyana’s Territorial Council. If Cafom’s offer had been accepted, the Council would most likely have denounced the Air Public Service Delegation and withdraw aid from air Guyane.
The Caire Group has 309 employees whose future depends on a solution for the embattled airlines.
Cafom did not only encounter opposition from the Territorial Council in Guyana, but also from the labor unions who feared that a take-over would bring back the unwanted influence of Eric Koury. The unions claim in an article that appeared on the archyde.com website that Koury is responsible for the liquidation of Caire, for the mismanagement of airlines and for a debt of €90 million ($95.4 million).
The website notes that Cafom intends to close the base in Martinique and fire 53 employees. There is also a joint offer on the table from the community of Saint Martin and Cipim, the holding company of the Edeis Group that manages sixteen different airports. This offer is however only for the Antillean zone and covers the interests of 120 employees.
A group of forty union members disagrees with the opposition against a takeover by Cafom. “The preservation of jobs and the stability of the company is well worth the sacrifice of supporting the methods or even the presence of Eric Koury.”
The court in Point-á-Pitre decides today, Friday September 29, about the fate of the Caire Group.