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Curator Sabena Charges Airbus  
User currently offlineKarelXWB From Netherlands, joined Jul 2012, 13114 posts, RR: 35
Posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3069 times:

Christian Van Buggenhout, the curator of the bankrupt Sabena, is charging Airbus for 58 million euros. Sabena went bankruptcy in 2001 and Christian holds Airbus partly responsible for it because they knew the airline could not afford the 34 aircraft on order. He says Airbus is "malignant" and "greedy".

Article in Dutch:
http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/economie/130215_Sabena_Airbus

Here is a raw translation by Google Translate:

Quote:
In November 1997, Sabena decided to replace all its Boeing aircraft by 34 new Airbus aircraft. An order that at least strange because all previous studies and financial projections went out of 17 new aircraft. Sabena could the order of $ 1 billion never pay. The former partner of Sabena, Swissair, took along with Airbus guarantees a financing method, which ultimately never happened.

Buggenhout says Airbus knew from the beginning that Sabena could never pay the mega-order, and therefore a structure set up with Swissair which ultimately only the aircraft manufacturer was better. "Why do not otherwise sell 34 aircraft to someone who can pay only 17?" He says.

Thus Sabena paid advances for all devices, even if they were not all delivered. More so, when Sabena from 2000 really got into trouble and wanted to suspend delivery, Airbus was on the contract. After the bankruptcy of Sabena in November 2001, Airbus sold the aircraft continues to other airlines, without the advances of Sabena return.

Curator Christian Van Buggenhout accuses Airbus as being "malignant" and "greedy". He then demands a compensation of more than 58 million euros from the French aircraft. "The only loser in this case, is in fact Sabena," it sounds.

What do you guys think, is this possible? It sounds a little bit strange to me.


Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe.
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecargolex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1278 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2957 times:

What happened to Sabena still makes me sad, but I find it hard to fault Airbus for selling planes to Sabena if Sabena management knew it could not afford to buy the planes. If Sabena was forced to make the order, it was forced by Swissair, not by Airbus, but even then nobody was forcing Swissair or Sabena to buy the planes - they agreed to the contract of their own volition.

It's hard to see how Airbus is at fault here.


User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8503 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2583 times:
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Since Switzerland is part of the European Economic Area ( not the EU) don't the Swiss courts recognize begian judgements ?

User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4179 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2534 times:
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Quoting cargolex (Reply 1):
What happened to Sabena still makes me sad, but I find it hard to fault Airbus for selling planes to Sabena if Sabena management knew it could not afford to buy the planes

I don't think it is a matter whether Airbus forced Sabena to buy the aircraft. My reading of this and other articles makes me believe that the lawsuit is over two other issues:
-A fraudulent financing agreement (as per the liquidator anyway);
-Airbus' refusal to refund deposits and full payments made for aircraft ordered but never delivered due to the bankruptcy.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7303 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2448 times:

The board of directors appointed by the shareholders approved the purchase of the aircraft.


The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2204 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 2):
Since Switzerland is part of the European Economic Area ( not the EU) don't the Swiss courts recognize begian judgements ?

Switzerland is NOT a member of the EEA - joining the EEA was rejected in a referendum in 1992.



WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlineLOWS From Austria, joined Oct 2011, 1192 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2116 times:

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 5):
Switzerland is NOT a member of the EEA - joining the EEA was rejected in a referendum in 1992.

I think he means the European Free Trade Area.


User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8197 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2000 times:

Total and utter nonsense. Laughable actually. The Belgians are even worse at taking responsibility for the failure of Sabena (which hadn't made a profit since the 1950s) than the Dutch are for the Tenerife disaster. There have actually been documentaries about how the whole SN failure was a premeditated plot by Swissair to take over all the profitable parts of Sabena (good lucking finding those btw!) for themselves and leaving the rest to collapse. Which conveniently overlooks the fact that Swissair went tango uniform about a month after Sabena did - so it didn't work out very well did it.

Sabena was a massively overstaffed operation flying old school from a tiny country surrounded by big hubs (you can drive to CDG, AMS and DUS from anywhere in Belgium pretty much as easily as you can drive to BRU) operating widebody jets to Mexico City, Tokyo, Boston, Bangkok etc with a massive sense of entitlement. What could possibly go wrong?



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlinecornutt From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1805 times:

Quoting cargolex (Reply 1):
What happened to Sabena still makes me sad, but I find it hard to fault Airbus for selling planes to Sabena if Sabena management knew it could not afford to buy the planes.

I'm with this... the airline's internal finances are not Airbus' problem. They may have a claim regarding monies paid for aircraft that were not delivered, but presumably they weren't delivered because the bankruptcy custodian cancelled the orders. All manufacturers have it in their order contracts that some portion of the advance fees paid are non-refundable under any circumstances. This is to protect the manufacturers from parties placing speculative orders.


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1777 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 7):
(you can drive to CDG, AMS and DUS from anywhere in Belgium pretty much as easily as you can drive to BRU

Doesn't that work both ways?


User currently offlinesolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 859 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1745 times:

Why now?

It´s over 10 years Sabena went belly up.

//Mike  



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2589 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1605 times:

All, please hold your horses. Reading through the article, the angle is a little different as pictured by the article headline, by the thread starter, and by all the reactions above.



The claim mainly concerns pre-delivery payments made by Sabena for frames that were never delivered as Sabena went down. Well, normally one would argue tough luck; Sabena engaged in a contract and because of reasons outside Airbus control, the contract was never completed, so you loose your down payments. Nothing uncommon, shit happens in bankruptcies.

However, and here's the interesting part, that will undoubtedly be of interest to many lawyers, apparently Airbus engaged together with Swissair and Sabena in a financial construction where this new financial consortium (with participants/stake holders Sabena, Swissair, Airbus) took up the financial guarantees for this deal. When the deal goes south because of bankruptcy of the end user, all participants in the consortium should take their fair share of the losses.

It is this financial consortium that must bear the loss of the pre-delivery payments. And guess what . . . . Airbus is part of that, and never took part in these losses; all the losses were embedded in the Sabena and Swissair bankruptcies. So this guy is trying to at least get Airbus stake of the consortium, and claim Airbus share of lost pre-delivery payments for undelivered planes.

Right now, only Sabena and Swissair (or better, their creditors) have taken the hit of lost pre-delivery payments for undelivered frames. Airbus had a double hat here and should pay for there part of their second hat, at least that is the claim. If that will be honoured really depends on the specifics of the contract, fine prints, which legal system is leading (which might a court case in itself . . .) etc.

Off course, to spice up his claim, all he goes deep and tries to come up with as much accusations as possible, hoping that his real claim will eventually remain solid by trying to move attention from the real issue. Those include:
- Airbus knew that Sabena could only afford 17 planes, but willingly accepted to sell them 34;
- Airbus declined to stop or delay the contract when Sabena was on the brink of falling down;
- Airbus just resold those Sabena frames to other customers, without paying back Sabena’s pre-delivery payments;
- Airbus did not share the pre-delivery payments from the new customers of the original Sabena frames, which would be prudent as Airbus was part of the initial financial consortium that purchased the frame sin the first place;

He is trying to use the above to make a case that Airbus did not act in good faith with respect to their part of the financial consortium.


So my conclusion, there may very well be a legal basis for this. I would certainly not dismiss this readily out of hand.

Rgds,
PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
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