Air France-KLM sees benefit of Etihad buyout

The CEO of Air France-KLM said Monday that Etihad's plans to buy up part of stricken Italian carrier Alitalia would likely benefit the Franco-Dutch airline group.

Alexandre de Juniac said it was a "likely friendly" move, speaking in Doha where the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been holding its general assembly.

In a joint statement on Sunday, Etihad and Alitalia confirmed the capital investment project to save the Italian airline, which could otherwise have faced bankruptcy.

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The deal could see Etihad buy up to 49 percent of Alitalia, but the terms and conditions of the deal have yet to be confirmed.

Air France-KLM is itself a shareholder in Alitalia to the tune of 7.08 percent and the carriers are linked by Delta Airlines on transatlantic flights.

"It's the interest of the new shareholder to make Alitalia (a) success," said Camiel Eurlings, CEO of KLM.

He said "it would be against the interest of Alitalia to stop the partnership".

Juniac and Eurlings both stressed the importance of good relations with Etihad.

"We have good relationships with Etihad. We are progressing slowly but surely," Eurlings said, adding they had already discussed "starting a revenue sharing between Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam".



by Hamid Fahim © 2014 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Jun 2, 2014