- Title: Air France-KLM shakes up transaltantic alliance with Virgin, Delta
- Date: 28th July 2017
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (JULY 28, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (French) AIR FRANCE-KLM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, JEAN-MARC JANAILLAC, SAYING: "The consideration that we made was that we have an extremely competitive environment where consequently, it was essential for Air France KLM not only to maintain its position but to be aggressive. It was within this framework that we decided to take a major step forward by holding shares of Virgin Atlantic and by concluding commercial and capital strategic alliances with Delta Airlines and China Eastern. And as such, we reinforce our position as a European pillar of partner networks that is the most integrated in air transport worldwide." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS JOURNALISTS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) KLM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, PIETER ELBERS, SAYING: "Clearly, Air France KLM already has a strong position in the UK markets. To the cities outside London, we operate to roughly 18 different destinations in the UK. With this, suddenly we also have a very strong position in the London markets, which is a great asset, not only for our customers, but also for many of our corporate clients, who fly not only from London to the U.S., but also to the rest of the world, for which they can use the connectivity in the hubs of Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS JOURNALISTS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (French) AIR FRANCE-KLM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, JEAN-MARC JANAILLAC, SAYING: "We have a 'put' option in the agreement with Virgin that allows us, with Delta, to drop below 50 percent again if - and we don't know today, we cannot know how the negotiations with the British authorities about airline traffic will turn out - if theses clauses (possible regulations post-Brexit that would prevent a non-UK company to acquire majority shares in a UK company or prevent a UK company whose majority is owned by a non-UK company to preserve its air traffic rights) should prevent us and Virgin from being able to develop." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 11th August 2017 13:12
- Keywords: Europe Asia KLM Brexit Air France alliance Delta Virgin Atlantic China Eastern
- Location: PARIS & ROISSY-EN-FRANCE, FRANCE / SCHIPOL, THE NETHERLANDS, UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION
- City: PARIS & ROISSY-EN-FRANCE, FRANCE / SCHIPOL, THE NETHERLANDS, UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION
- Country: France
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0056RMU8G7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Air France-KLM unveiled on Friday (July 28) its plans with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines to combine two overlapping transatlantic joint-ventures, supported by equity deals worth $1 billion, as airlines brace for more competition.
The move is designed to strengthen carriers on the lucrative North Atlantic, where low-cost entrants have shaken up the market, and comes as Britain negotiates to leave the European Union, creating a tangle over access to Heathrow airport.
The new 15-year partnership combines existing joint-ventures between firstly Air France-KLM, Delta and Alitalia, and secondly between Delta and Virgin Atlantic, Air France-KLM said.
At the same time as forging the expanded alliance, Air France-KLM will buy 31 percent of Virgin Atlantic from Richard Branson's Virgin Group for around 220 million pounds ($287 million).
Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic have also agreed a so-called 'put' option with Virgin Group that allows Virgin Atlantic to remain in majority UK ownership in the event of a hard Brexit.
On the Asia side, China Eastern Airlines Corp would buy a 10 percent stake in Air France-KLM and form a strategic partnership to improve its presence in the China-Europe market.
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