Khalifa Airways, flagship of controversial Algerian millionaire Abdelmoumen Rafik Khalifa, was liquidated by a French court on 10 July after it failed to come up with €5 million ($5.7 million) owed to employees and creditors.

The airline, which at its peak had around 40 aircraft, ran internal Algerian routes and served international destinations in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Its fleet has been grounded for two months and staff not paid. The airline's demise leaves 170 people out of work.

The fleet comprised owned and leased Airbus, ATR and Boeing aircraft. Many are stored awaiting placement with new operators. ATR general secretary Jean-Pierre Cousserans says Khalifa's four ATR 42s were on operating lease and have been returned to Toulouse, as have six of its the eight ATR 72s. Two other ATRs were owned by the airline. The director in France for Khalifa Airways, Amine Chachwa, had asked the French court at Nanterre to accept a restructuring plan.

Khalifa, now living in London, also recently lost his bank, El-Khalifa Bank, liquidated in May at an estimated cost to Algeria of €1.5 billion, and Khalifa TV, liquidated on 2 July.

Source: Flight International