Leisure carrier XL Airways France has suspended all operations for several days, owing to financial problems.

The Paris-based airline says the suspension will run from 30 September to 3 October.

XL Airways France states that it has taken the decision in co-operation with court-appointed administrators and the French civil aviation authority.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this situation may have caused our valuable customers,” says the operator, which uses a fleet of Airbus A330s.

XL Airways France had already revealed, earlier this month, that it was halting ticket sales as a result of financial issues.

Personnel representatives describe the airline as a “pioneer” of long-haul, low-cost air transport. It operated to the Caribbean, Reunion and other destinations and was intending to develop services to China.

“The situation of XL Airways is sadly revealing the difficulties of French air transport,” said a joint union statement, as it urged the government, shareholders and regulators to find a solution to XL’s problems. “We were totally abandoned and left to our fate.”

They claim the carrier has been exposed to “unfair competition” from foreign carriers – particularly outside of Europe – and criticise the granting of open-skies agreements to certain regions.

Source: FlightGlobal.com