Air France-KLM ready to tie up with Alitalia

22nd June 2004, Comments 0 comments

TEHERAN, June 21 (AFP) - French-Dutch airline Air France-KLM is ready to tie up with Alitalia after the struggling Italian carrier restructures, Air France chief Jean-Cyril Spinetta said in Teheran on Monday.

TEHERAN, June 21 (AFP) - French-Dutch airline Air France-KLM is ready to tie up with Alitalia after the struggling Italian carrier restructures, Air France chief Jean-Cyril Spinetta said in Teheran on Monday.

"We are open to the proposition but that will not be possible until Alitalia draws up a restructuring plan," Spinetta told reporters during a visit to mark the resumption of Air France flights between Paris and Teheran.

"Alitalia needs to focus on breaking even," he stressed.

Alitalia is in deep financial crisis and faces the possibility of banruptcy unless drastic measures are taken, according to its auditor Deloitte and Touche.

Italian news agencies reported Monday that Alitalia was close to receiving a government guarantee for a bridging loan which it needs to both continue its operations and to complete a restructuring plan.

Air France acquired KLM last month in a deal that creates the biggest European carrier and the number one worldwide in terms of sales.

At the time the deal was originally announced in October 2003, Alitalia expressed interest in merging with the other two airlines.

Air France resumed its non-stop flights between Paris and Tehran on June 15, following a seven-year interruption in service because it was not cost effective.

The thrice-weekly flight is the first non-stop service between France and Iran by a non-Iranian carrier since Air France called off its flights in 1997. Iran Air already flies non-stop between Paris and Tehran.


© AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article