XL Airways France seeks strategic investor

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XL Airways France is seeking investors as it looks to build its short- and long-haul charter and scheduled operations.

Paris Charles de Gaulle-based XL Airways France, which was formerly branded as Star Airlines, operates flights to destinations in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Its fleet comprises two Airbus A330-300s, two A320-200s and a Boeing 737-800.

An XL Airways France spokesman says: "We are looking for an industrial partner. Negotiations are going on now. There are banks, tour operators and airlines that are looking at it."

He says the percentage stake involved in any potential deal remains unclear.

"There are many kinds of tour operators who are interested in this sort of partnership today - we can't give details, that's confidential," says the spokesman.

But sources familiar with the situation say that airlines such as Air France or Corsair could be interested in taking a stake in the carrier.

Last year XL Airways France posted a net profit of €10 million ($13.2 million). The airline is distinct from XL Leisure Group, the parent of UK charter carrier XL Airways, which collapsed in September last year.

Further details of any potential investment are expected to be released at a press conference in the first week of February, given by managing director Laurent Magnin.