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Déjà 25 ANS... The Story

La compagnie - 25 ans deja

1987 : The Chambon Company of Marseille joins forces with Guadeloupian ship owner, Michel Jacques, to create the Antilles Trans Express (ATE) Company Ltd on 1 January.

That year, ATE transports 279,000 passengers on routes from Pointe-à-Pitre to Marie-Galante and Les Saintes.

1989 : Caribbean Express Ltd (CESA), made up of Scandinavian and Martiniquais shareholders, commence service on 30 June. Regular sailings connect the islands of Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique and Saint Lucia. The Saint Lucia route was quickly suspended however, and would only be reactivated in December 1994.

1990 : Beginning of the merger between ATE and Caribbean Express. The latter charters an ATE catamaran. That year, ATE transports 254,000 passengers; Caribbean Express, 43.500.

1992 : In September of that year, ATE acquires a majority shareholding in Caribbean Express.

1994 :Launch of the two companies’ joint commercial brand: L’Express des îles. The brand is filed with the INPI in Marseille on 13 October 1994. Together, the two companies operate four catamarans and transport 487,000 passengers on an annual basis.
Les deux compagnies exploitent ensemble 4 catamarans et transportent 487.000 passagers sur l'année.

1997 : From September, the British government charters an ATE catamaran, via an agent in Montserrat, to make the crossing between Antigua and Montserrat, following the closure of the island’s airport. This contract continues until early 2005.

1999 :Launch of a major corporate restructuring plan resulting in an overhaul of the service (reduction or cancellation of some lines, increased service on more popular routes), the fleet is reduced from 6 to 4 vessels and the workforce downsized from 100+ to 69 employees).

2000 :ATE Ltd becomes L’Express des îles Ltd and merges with Caribbean Express, absorbing the latter.

31 mars 2001 : The Bourbon Group, which had absorbed the Chambon Company, leaves the Antilles. L’Express des îles is not part of its core business. Roland Bellemare, CEO of L’Express des îles Ltd, together with Bruno Moeson, marine superintendent, and other employees purchase the company and create L’Express des îles SAS (simplified joint stock company) which continues the business of the initial company.

2005 : Creation of the tour operator Kiosque des îles. KIOSQUE DES ILES www.kiosquedesiles.com

2011 : The subsidiary Maritime Transport Low cost is launched. www.jeansforfreedom.com

2012 : The company celebrates 25 years of success and over 14 million passengers.

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