INFO THE DEPECHE. President Macron intervenes to save the airline between Castres and Paris

the essential
Threatened to disappear this Thursday June 1, the airline between Castres and Paris has been saved. South Tarn Renaissance deputy Jean Terlier appealed in extremis to the President of the Republic to unblock the situation on the gong.

It is a scenario worthy of the American series “24 hours chrono”. An agreement was finally reached Wednesday evening on the gong to perpetuate the airline between Castres and Paris, at least for the next three years. The 40,000 travelers a year and the local economic players, who just a few days ago recalled through the voice of the president of the Tarn Chamber of Commerce and Industry Michel Bossi “the absolute need for Castres-Mazamet airport for our economy “, it can explode. But the ax did not go far.

As every 4 years, a tender had been launched by the joint union of Castres-Mazamet airport for the public service delegation of the airline between Castres and Paris-Orly. And it was the Chalair company that won it, thus succeeding Air France from 1 June, which is abandoning the land development lines.

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Only the public co-financiers of the subsidy requested by the company to offset the expected deficit have not agreed on their participation. Due to rising fuel costs and general inflation, Chalair was asking for more financial assistance than under the previous contract. Already faced with limited budgets, the Region, the Castres-Mazamet agglomeration community and the Department have refused to let their participation explode, all the more for a “degraded” service since the number of rotations has dropped from three to two per day (which du midi is suppressed for the time being) with a slower plane. They therefore asked the state to increase its share from 30% to 50% “as it does for other regional planning lines in France,” said Pascal Bugis, president of the agglomeration.

“An Unacceptable Proposal”

But the state, through the Ministry of Transport, has offered to increase its subsidy from 30 to 40%, but limiting it to 50% of estimated passenger revenue. Which would effectively make a 20% stake ahead of the showings! And only in the space of three years considering, like the rest of the Region, that within the 4th year the basin will have the motorway that will bring it closer to Toulouse-Blagnac. “They take us for hams” reacted Pascal Bugis. “It is an unacceptable proposal”, adds Jean Terlier, the deputy from the south of the Tarn but still with the majority.

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Airline between Castres and Paris: the threat still lingers one week before the deadline

Consequence: the trade union committee held on Tuesday turned into a dead end. To the point that many feared that the Castres-Paris line would stop this Thursday. But Jean Terlier went all out in the final straight by contacting the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron directly. And the latter was sensitive to the arguments of the Tarn MP and asked the Minister of Transport to “make an effort”. And a solution has been found. Chalair was granted a tax exemption which therefore reduced his claims and the state slightly increased his stake but over 3 years instead of 4. “The state’s stake has actually increased,” analyzes the deputy. The participation of local authorities will also increase, but in a “limited and reasonable” way, according to MP Terlier.

“Happy and Satisfied”

According to our information, during a final meeting taking place on Wednesday evening, the president of the airport’s joint union Michel Dhomps obtained the go-ahead from the co-financiers to sign the agreement. “I am delighted and satisfied that the airport maintains its Castres-Paris line”, reacted Jean Terlier, pleased to have untangled a situation which was becoming urgent. And if the contract extends only for the next three years, “this leaves time to find alternatives with other financing” to preserve the line. And in particular through sources of military income according to the parliamentarian who is working on the dossier of the modification of the runway which would allow the A400M to land, the military aircraft of the European aeronautical company used by the army which can carry 116 paratroopers.

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