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