Air France KLM and Etihad unsure of Alitalia


Air France-KLM has deferred a decision on whether to offer further help to struggling Alitalia until it has heard more about the Italian airline later this week.

Rumours of a bid from the airline group for Alitalia were dampened yesterday when the Franco-Dutch carrier said it would wait to hear more at a board meeting on Thursday before making a final decision, according to Reuters.

Air France-KLM already owns a 25% stake in Alitalia after helping it come out of bankruptcy in 2008.

Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi was reported asking Air France-KLM to consider Alitalia as part of a development in European air travel rather than “as an appendix”.

However Air France KLM has its own troubles after announcing thousands of job cuts last week.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways’s chief executive James Hogan said the airline was focused on taking a stake in India’s Jet Airways when asked if it was considering investment into Alitalia.

“At the moment I’m focused on India, transactions in India. We look at many businesses but we are primarily focused on Jet Airways,” Hogan told AFP.

Alitalia unveiled a three-year turnaround plan in July but is scrambling for investment with rumours that it could run out of money by the end of this year.

The carrier has suffered under competition from low-cost carriers and weak demand for domestic flights in Italy.

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