It is one of the first virtual companies being certified by the International Virtual Aviation Organization (IVAO) dedicated to flights across the Internet. History will record that Littoral Airlines has made the great titles of business and international aviation press for several months.
In 2002 Jean-Charles Appin, founding President of the future VA Littoral Airlines, contacts the real “Air Littoral” company based at Montpellier airport, for permission to use its logo and the nice liveries of its aircrafts for flight simulation activities on the network, and deliberately chooses the name of "Littoral Airlines" for the virtual company, to avoid any confusion with the real “Air Littoral” company. This permission is granted, and Littoral Airlines takes off on the IVAO network.
Meanwhile, KLM, Lufthansa, Swissair and Euralair sell their shares in Air Littoral assets, and the company is declared bankrupt in 2003. Several attempts for recovery failed, and a project to create a new company by the Chamber of Commerce of Montpellier was set up in March 2004. This project provided for the resumption of the routes served by Air Littoral placed into liquidation. The Regional Council of Languedoc-Roussillon provided for 4 million euros to create 200 employments and operate five ATR aircraft from Montpellier, to french destinations as Lille, Nantes, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Ajaccio Bastia (Corsica), and overseas stops as Algiers and Oran (Algeria).
In February 2004, the real world catches up with the virtual world, to Jean-Charles Appin’s surprise. He has been contacted by one of the future leaders of the new regional airline, to sell the domain name of Littoral Airlines website because investors wanted the new entity to be created as “Littoral Airlines Limited” and realized that this “company” already existed on the Internet with .com extension. Giving priority to the economic and financial issues for the region, Jean-Charles Appin simply decided to give the name Littoral Airlines for free, to help the project succeed and planned to change the VA’s name. Pending the necessary approvals (approval from the Supreme Council of Commercial Aviation (CSAM), and from the French DGAC to get the Air Operator Certificate (AOC). The launch of the new company Littoral Airlines project, under the chairmanship of Serge Sellan, leader of 3S company, based in Toulouse, Roissy and Orly, is announced to the press by futur director Jean Durand, the President of the Regional Council and the President of ICC, with a possible hiring of former Air Littoral employees and the purpose of carrying 300,000 passengers a year.
To reply to the emergency situation, a redirect page had to be created from Littoral Airlines virtual company website, to a temporary home page announcing the creation of the new regional real airline. Incredible ! It was the first time a real airline wanted to take the name of a virtual company. In practice, the opposite occurs. This has resulted to confront Jean-Charles Appin who administered the website at the time, to a sudden influx of visitors to Littoral Airlines virtual company website, also confronted to the need to respond to numerous requests for information on the future lines, and answer the impressive amount of curriculum vitae from pilots, cabin crew, maintenance technicians and administrative staff…
Unfortunately, history will especially record that after the elections of May 2004, the new Regional President, Georges Freche, would not make the 4 million euros promised by his predecessor. The “Littoral Airlines Limited” draft, was thus stillborn. Air Littoral no longer exists. Late “Littoral Airlines Limited” project did not survive the economic downturn... Littoral Airlines French Virtual company chaired by Jean-Charles Appin has the ambition to make revive in the IVAO skies, “Air Littoral” routes and maintain the history of the company "alive" on the Internet, with its sunny Mediterranean colours. Air Littoral was the company of people of the South ... Today, the planes take off over the Internet, from airports around the world and Littoral Airlines pilots, proudly announce on radio frequencies their “LIT” callsign, in memory of Air Littoral. This is reminiscent to other companies, that have disappeared from the skies after the heyday of commercial aviation in the twentieth century, as UTA, AOM, TAT... Air Inter, Air Liberté, Régional Airlines, Flandre Air, Minerva, Euralair, and so on.