xl airways las vegas

Low-cost airline XL Airways on edge of bankruptcy

To the point The French low-cost airline XL Airways has just suspended its tickets sales and is reportedly on the edge of bankruptcy.

This is news that Canadians will not necessarily be interested in, as this airline does not operate any flights to Canada. But it allows us to understand the ultra-competitive world of the transatlantic market. And this has an impact on flight fares.

What is XL Airways?

XL Airways is a low-cost airline launched in 2006 and operating many flights between metropolitan France and:

  • The Caribbean
  • Reunion
  • The United States
  • The Mediterranean basin

I had the opportunity to travel on it in 2010 while I was still in France for a flight between Paris and Las Vegas.

xl airways las vegas
XL Airways in Las Vegas in 2010

Cessation of ticket sales

As of September 19, 2019, XL Airways has announced that the cessation of ts ticket sales and are not going there by four routes:

XL AIRWAYS, in great financial difficulty, is unfortunately obliged to stop its sales from September 19, 2019.

Weekend flights are maintained. As some flights may be cancelled from 23 September, passengers are advised to check the status of their flights, including passengers flying back after that date.

XL Airways - 19 September 2019

The future of low-cost transatlantic flights

XL Airways has been present for more than a decade. Its strength is to operate flights to tourist destinations that are not directly served by traditional airlines such as Air France.

For example, XL Airways operated direct flights from Paris to many transatlantic tourist destinations, including Las Vegas.

But, unfortunately, XL Airways is adding to the many low-cost airlines that have ended their operations like WOW Air or Primera Air. And that’s not counting those currently in financial difficulty like Norwegian (which has decided to withdraw from flights offered from Canada and the United States to the Caribbean).

It must be said that traditional companies have decided to align themselves by reducing their costs (and services) to face this competition.

air canada rouge miami montreal 10
Air Canada Rouge

For example, Air Canada created Air Canada Rouge. For its part, IAG (British Airways) has set up Level(which operates flights from Montreal).

But we see it well: traditional companies have resources and support from their financiers:

What about La Compagnie?

La Compagnie is an airline operating flights exclusively in business class on specific routes such as:

  • Paris – New York
  • Nice – New York
la compagnie a321neo
La Compagnie

La Compagnie and XL Airways had decided to consolidate their activities in 2016.

It will be interesting to see if La Compagnie will remain from XL Airways, especially since La Compagnie has just obtained the delivery of A321neo, used on the recently opened Nice-New York route.


It’s a surprise to see XL Airways disappear soon, but it’s a logical follow-up to the considerable efforts of traditional airlines to adjust their offerings.

Unfortunately, this will reduce competition and logically involve higher rates. The services should still follow (comfort of seats, luggage, meals…), but it is possible to doubt it.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Jean-Maximilien Voisine
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

Suggested Reading