Surprised this didn't come up earlier, but one week ago the Longstock financial group took a 85,15% stake in Aerocondor, the airline that flies Lisbon-Vila Real-Bragança and until recently, Funchal Porto Santo.
This take-over is very interesting, because Longstock is the owner of Air Luxor that had its license revoked by INAC, the Portuguese aviation authority, last summer, for failing to pay its aircraft lessors. Longstock is a Portuguese-Canadian special purpose vehicle allegedly related to the Mirpuri family, who used to own Air Luxor outright and still do own HiFly.
Victor Brito disse que a empresa tem cerca de 150 trabalhadores e declarou-se convencido de que a Longstock irá respeitar as leis laborais, recusando-se a comentar o que se passou na Air Luxor, onde a grande maioria dos trabalhadores foi despedida.
([Aerocondor president] Victor Briso said that the company has about 150 employees and said he was convinced that Longstock will observe the labour laws, but refused to comment on what happened at Air Luxor, where the vast majority of employees was fired.)
The article says the owner of Aerocondor, apparently the oldest privately owned airline on the Iberian peninsula, wanted to retire but none of his three pilot sons were available for the job. He then agreed to sell the airline to Longstock. This would be a very interesting twist to the Longstock saga, although not entirely unexpected - rather than to start an airline from scratch and apply for an AOC, buy an existing one. Remember their 3x2.com plan? They said they expected to be licensed by last December. Well, it might be they weren't far off...
See also an earlier thread Air Luxor To Be Reincarnated As Fly3x2.com (by BuyantUkhaa Nov 2 2006 in Civil Aviation)
So would Fly3x2.com be allowed operate under Aerocondor's license? Let's watch what INAC will be doing....
I find this move puzzling, because if they didn't have money to keep Air Luxor afloat, how can they now take over Aerocondor???