Air Liberté

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Air Liberté
Air Liberte.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedJuly 1987
Ceased operations17 February 2003 (2003-02-17)
Frequent-flyer programQualiflyer
AllianceOneworld (affiliate; 1999-2000)
Fleet size53 (total during operations)
Parent companyBritish Airways (70%)(1997-2000)
HeadquartersAir Liberté: Rungis, France
Air Lib: Building 363
Orly Airport
Key peopleEric Schulz (CEO)
Jean-Charles Corbet (former CEO of Air Lib)

Air Liberté (later known as Air Lib) was an airline in France founded in July 1987. Air Liberté was headquartered in Rungis.[1] Air Lib was headquartered in Orly Airport Building 363 in Paray-Vieille-Poste.[2][3]


Air Liberté began operations in April 1988 with a leased MD-83. It mainly operated to destinations in European and Mediterranean holiday resorts, however it had some intercontinental routes. In 1991, Air Liberte published a joint timetable with French air carrier Minerve (airline) which was operating flights to San Francisco and Papeete, Tahiti as well as to Pointe a Pitre and Fort de France in the Caribbean at the time.[4] A route to Montreal was inaugurated in 1992,[5] and Réunion and the Caribbean were also served by the airline. Unsuccessful routes included one from Toulouse to Dakar and London, which were scrapped in a conflict over slot allocations at Orly. 1996 saw a new route to Nice, and in May the route network of Euralair was taken on. Around 1996, the airline had a fleet of 5 Boeing 737-200 airplanes, 8 McDonnell Douglas MD-83 planes and 5 McDonnell Douglas DC-10 planes.

1996 also brought with it financial distress. The airline lost 1 billion FF ($181 million) that year, and in 1997 British Airways acquired 70% of the shareholding. At this time, British Airways brought Air Liberté together with TAT and inaugurated them under one management. Nouvelair was born out of Air Liberté's subsidiary in Tunisia, Air Liberté Tunisie.[citation needed] On 5 May 2000, BA sold Air Liberté to a partnership between Taitbout Antibes and Swissair.

On 25 March 2001 AOM French Airlines merged with Air Liberté, the airline retaining the name "Air Liberté".[6] On 22 September 2001 the airline was renamed Air Lib[7] But in October, Swissair went bankrupt, unable to make all scheduled payments. The French Government then granted a loan of €30.5 million to the company.

Despite government aid, the airline accumulated debts of €120 million and was forced to declare bankruptcy in August 2002. The government then ordered the implementation of a new restructuring plan before the end of the year. Several projects were considered without result, and the company was liquidated on 17 February 2003. As a result, no other competing international level full-service French airline had appeared, leaving only Air France (now controlled by Air France-KLM) as a de facto monopoly.


Air Liberté operated the following aircraft during operations:[8]

Image Aircraft Total
Air Liberte A300B4-622R.jpg Airbus A300B4-622R 2
Air Liberte A310-221.jpg Airbus A310-221 2
Air Liberte A310-324.jpg Airbus A310-324 1
Air Liberte ATR 42-300.jpg ATR 42-300 7
Air Liberte ATR 72-202.jpg ATR 72-202 3
Air Liberte 737-210C.jpg Boeing 737-200 3
Air Liberte F100.jpg Fokker 100 12
Air Liberté DC-10-30; F-GPVE@ORY;06.08.1996 (5216874095).jpg McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 5
Air Liberte MD-82.jpg McDonnell Douglas MD-82 5
Air Liberte MD-83 F-GFZB.jpg McDonnell Douglas MD-83 13
Total 53


  1. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. 26 March-1 April 1997. "44.
  2. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 12–18 March 2002. 57.
  3. ^ "Résultat de votre recherche." Le Journal officiel électronique authentifié. Retrieved on 15 May 2010. "Siège social : compagnie Air Lib, bâtiment 363, zone centrale à l’aéroport d’Orly, 91550 Paray-Vieille-Poste."
  4. ^, June 1, 1991 Air Liberte/Minerve combined timetable
  5. ^ "OAG Desktop Flight Guide: Worldwide Edition". Official Airline Guides. August 1992. p. 842.
  6. ^ "Home." AOM French Airlines. 6 May 2001. Retrieved on 15 May 2010. "Le 25 Mars 2001 AOM change de nom et devient Air Liberté."
  7. ^ "Découvrir Air Liberté." Air Liberté. 23 February 2002. Retrieved on 15 May 2010. "Le 22 Septembre 2001, AOM et AIR LIBERTE ont donné naissance à une nouvelle compagnie aérienne qui porte désormais le nom AIR LIB."
  8. ^ Air Liberté past fleet
  • Hengi, BI. Airlines Worldwide. Leicester: Midland Publishing, 1997.
  • Donald, David. The Encyclopedia of Civil Aircraft Etobicoke: Prospero Books, 1999.

External links[edit]

Media related to Air Liberté at Wikimedia Commons