Air Littoral was last week left facing fresh uncertainty after a commercial court once again delayed the selection of a winning bidder to take over the struggling French carrier, which has been in administration since 21 August 2003.

Takeover rights for Air Littoral and its subsidiaries were originally granted to investment company 7 Group under a 15 November ruling. But when 7 Group failed to produce the required €11 million ($14 million) to finalise the deal, a second period of bidding was opened.

Following numerous extensions, the most recent bid deadline for the carrier and its maintenance subsidiary Air Littoral Industrie was 23 January. But after reviewing the bids, the court opted to allow more time - until 2 February - for the bids to be finalised. Two bidders for the group remain in the running: Italian investment group Enricco Marraci and the Giaccomo Torrente Group.

Offers for the airline alone have come from Alain Dumenil Group and Regional Partners Airlines. Meanwhile, Air Littoral Industrie is being courted by three contenders: SLM3D, Dart Aviation and TAT Industry.

Source: Flight International