The process to liquidate the insolvent airline Aigle Azur (Paris Orly) began on September 16, but Evry Commercial Court gave bidders two more days to come up with acceptable rescue plans, according to the Reuters news agency.

The court placed the liquidation under a "going concern" process that pushed the deadline for offers back to midnight on September 18.

In a programme on the French TV channel CNews, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, the Secretary of State for Transport, spoke of two recovery projects for Aigle Azur, namely a combined offer by Air France and Groupe Dubreuil, which runs the subsidiaries Air Caraibes Atlantique and French Bee, plus an offer from a competitor carrier later named by the French news agency AFP as easyJet.

However, although easyJet tabled a proposal last week, it said on September 16 that it had only submitted an “expression of interest” in Aigle Azur's medium-haul operations.

Air France is interested in acquiring the insolvent carrier’s medium-haul business, serving Algeria and the surrounding region, along with valuable slots at Paris Orly, while Air Caraïbes wants its long-haul operations to destinations such as Brazil.

A third offer headed by Lionel Guérin, a former chief executive of Air France HOP, has since been withdrawn, sources told Reuters. Air Algérie said in a public statement last week that it would be interested in buying Aigle and had the means to do so, but has not yet proposed an offer.

Privately owned Aigle Azur was put under bankruptcy protection on September 2 and ceased operations four days later, stranding 19,000 passengers. Djebbari said on September 8 that at that time, about 13,000 were still stuck on either side of the Mediterranean Sea, 11,000 of them in Algeria.

Tassili Airlines (SF, Algiers) said it had implemented a special programme of daily flights between Algiers and Orly from September 8 to 20, with a "new one-way preferential tariff", "to allow Aigle Azur passengers to have a travel alternative in the current situation". Air Algérie, meanwhile, has increased its seat capacity to France by 300 seats a day.