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Berlusconi - "...merger Of Alitalia, AF & KLM..."  
User currently offlineBeltwaybandit From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 495 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5244 times:

NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Monday that Italy and France wanted to see a merger of Alitalia (Milan:AZPIa.MI - News), Air France (Paris:AIRF.PA - News) and KLM(Amsterdam:KLM.AS - News), which would create Europe's biggest airline.

"There is a desire on our part and that of France to end up with a merger of Alitalia, Air France and KLM where national identities are respected," Berlusconi told reporters in New York where he was attending an anti-terrorism conference.
Berlusconi and French President Jacques Chirac left the New York conference together for about 10 minutes on Monday.
"Our governments are working in this direction," said Berlusconi, whose government owns a 62 percent stake in Alitalia while Chirac's holds a 54 percent share of Air France.
Berlusconi said that a three-way commercial tie-up would "create a group that could take on the big international companies, above all the American ones."
Alliances between major airlines are seen as crucial as the industry struggles with an economic slowdown and mounting competition from nimble no-frills carriers such as Ryanair.
Loss-making Alitalia's troubles would mount if it is left out of a consolidating European sector. The airline is already set to axe 3,000 jobs as part of a do-or-die restructuring plan, a source close to Alitalia said last week.
Last week a source close to Alitalia said the creation of a listed holding company, which would sit above the three airlines, was being studied as a means of tying together the partly state-owned carriers but allowing them to keep their national brands.
The source also said that Air France and KLM were set to strike an alliance deal within two weeks.
And in a sign that the Italian flag carrier's efforts to be included may have paid off, the source added that Air France and Alitalia would sign an accord to launch a single intercontinental schedule over the same period.
Analysts expect Air France to ultimately swallow up its two smaller rivals if the partnership goes ahead. But Berlusconi on Monday touted a marriage of equals.
"At the request of the companies, they must have the same weight in the deal. That is the essential thing for an agreement, and each company is looking for that," he told reporters.
Air France and Alitalia already have commercial ties and a small cross shareholding, and shares in all three airlines surged last week on expectations of an imminent merger between at least two of them.
KLM is set to brief unions on Wednesday on the progress of its partnership talks with Air France after saying last week that discusssions were at an advanced stage but several key issues still stood in the way of a deal.



43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBeltwaybandit From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5180 times:

How can three, large, government-controlled, teetering airlines compete with the smaller, nimble startups? Become one, huge teetering airline!

User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16308 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

I agree. Despite all the merger mania that has been discussed in Europe, to date no country has yet had its "national" airline merged with another.

Each EU country still has (understandable) national pride; I still can't see the Dutch or Italian people accepting that their national carrier is now Air France, or vice versa.

Rightly, or wrongly, I think each EU nation will retain its national carrier due to national pride.

Alliances and small equity stakes are all that I see on the horizon ever for EU national carriers.





Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineOOPJV From Belgium, joined Jun 2003, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5072 times:

Maybe not a recent merger, but SAS is an example of a merger and close cooperation of three EU-countries... I agree, these countries may have more in common historically than France, Italy or The Netherlands, but it can be an example of what may come...

User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16308 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5061 times:

Maybe not a recent merger, but SAS is an example of a merger and close cooperation of three EU-countries

I agree but they started SAS from scatch effectively so there was no loss of national identity. If each SAS country had their own separate airline now, I bet a merger would stir up national ire!





Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineOOPJV From Belgium, joined Jun 2003, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5041 times:

I don't have the time to look it up now, but I thought that a the moment SAS was formed, each country had its own national airline, and that these airlines were merged... I thought it happened in the 60's...

User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4997 times:

This is not without precedents.

However, I think that a merger of klm / alitalia / air france would just make them more inflexible. The latter two really need to shape up.

Both would have a hard time breaking the news of "efficiencies" to their staff, but (real or perceived) job losses to foreigners would be completely unpalatable to French / Italian union leaders.  Smile

Just personal opinion, &c &c.



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4976 times:

Okay, so the heads of state of two European countries, both of whom would be in jail were it not for their position in the government, want to merge their national carriers, along with another national carrier.

It's like a Mafia marriage!

Okay, that's a somewhat sarcastic statement...



Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4898 times:

In reality, Berlusconi wants to get some cash for the gov'ts holding of AZ but knows he can't just outright sell AZ to the French. The Dutch gov't is farther down the road of seeing AZ as a company and not the single source of Dutch national pride and thus the Dutch people can accept a KL/AF merger far better than the Italian people can. Ultimately, the Italian gov't wants out of the airline business but knows that for the present he has to speak reverently about AZ.

User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3823 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4843 times:

If each SAS country had their own separate airline now, I bet a merger would stir up national ire!

They do:
Braathen's SAFE(Norway)
Finair (Finland)
Maersk (Denmark)
(Several others in Sweden)



All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
User currently offlineCRJ'sRule From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4823 times:

Silvio Berlusconi is involved in this thing? Let's see how long it is before he makes another insensitive comment to the French or Dutch or pisses off the EU, thus destroying the merger. Don't believe me. Just the German guy he called a Nazi a few months ago. This merger idea will be gone before you can say wooden shoes, fromage or pizza.

User currently offlineVCE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4751 times:

Elwood64151 Okay, so the heads of state of two European countries, both of whom would be in jail were it not for their position in the government, want to merge their national carriers, along with another national carrier.

Yr comment doesn't have any sense. It's not true and absolutely it doesn't have any link to the topic.

If You really want to know, is this Government in Italy that wants to privatize Alitalia, not the previous, and the time for this is set. I agree with our Premier that the alliance with AF and KL should be closer. It's the only point in common we have in this moment with our French cousins, but it's good.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4709 times:

perhaps AZ / Berlusconi are afraid AF doesn't need AZ anymore when they partner with KLM (2 times as big as AZ & much, much healthier)..



User currently offlineVCE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4681 times:

perhaps AZ / Berlusconi are afraid AF doesn't need AZ anymore when they partner with KLM (2 times as big as AZ & much, much healthier)..

I don't think this is the problem. The Government in Italy (and Berlusconi as the first) wants to privatize AZ as soon.

Regarding AZ, as i already said, it has a competition in Italy that KL doesn't have in the Netherlands, but AZ must increase and to take advantage of its domestic market firstly in a country of 60.000.000 of inhabitants, while the Netherlands have just 10.000.000 and AZ must return in a position of leadership in the Middle Eastern and Asian market. The programmes goes in this direction.


User currently offlineKl911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5237 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4634 times:

''AZ must increase and to take advantage of its domestic market firstly in a country of 60.000.000 of inhabitants, while the Netherlands have just 10.000.000 and AZ must return in a position of leadership in the Middle Eastern and Asian market. The programmes goes in this direction.''

VCE,

Sorry, but the Netherlands have close to 18 million inhabitants.........



User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4599 times:

I think the number of inhabitant plays a role in politics. AF and AZ are still politicaly influenced. They should privatize ASAP.

In negotiations it is the size / strenght of the airline that matters.

Who cares that KLM mainly serves US, UK, German & Scandinavian passengers & cargo as long as they make money ?


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Photo © Menno Marrenga







User currently offlineKl911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5237 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4567 times:


What should worry KL is the number of strikes that hit AF per year....
Unions in France are really communist.... Don't even talk about efficiency and jobcuts...... Unions will declare war immediately....


User currently offlineVarig md-11 From France, joined Jul 2000, 1605 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4518 times:

KI911
I agree with you that the unions in France are too extremists...
to be fair the deal should include a condition that KL shouldn't suffer from AF personnel yearly-one week-strike
but is that possible if the companies merge?

geachte keesje

"Who cares that KLM mainly serves US, UK, German & Scandinavian passengers & cargo as long as they make money ? "

I m not denying KL has been a profitable airline but are you sure KL is still making money? I know AF is, but can't find any statements in this sense as far as KL is concerned....





AF TW AA NW DL UA CO BA U2 TP UX LH SK AZ MP KL SN VY HV LS SS TK SQ PC RG IW SE
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4501 times:

Regarding AZ, as i already said, it has a competition in Italy that KL doesn't have in the Netherlands

Jooking right ?


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Photo © Garry Lewis



Every major European/Asian/US carrier serves Amsterdam and it is a low Cost Easyjet hub


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4441 times:

"I m not denying KL has been a profitable airline but are you sure KL is still making money? I know AF is, but can't find any statements in this sense as far as KL is concerned...."

KLm is just starting to make money again after the 9-11, Iraq, Sars dip.

AF received more then E 5 Billion (e.g. sunsidizing environmental friendly aircraft) state support during the last five yrs.

The problem is the french state that owns AF also control AF airspace (keeps low cost carriers out), allow AF to have a virtual monopoly in France and blocks any EC measurements against this practises.

That why they are profitable now.




User currently offlineKl911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5237 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4419 times:

Keesje,

Aren't we better of for the moment to keep KL the way it is and wait till AF is fully privatised? I guess 5 years after AF is privatised it will be either smaller then KL or bankrupt. Let's merge then and see the beautiful blue KL birds dominate French skies. ( and learn them something about efficiency )

I've got nothing against AF, but I'm strongly opposed to Government aid and those Unions who seem to have all the power....


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4395 times:

"AF received more then E 5 Billion (e.g. sunsidizing environmental friendly aircraft) state support during the last five yrs"

Excuse me, it is 15 yrs .. not 5.

Just an article I googled up :

"French connection

When I flew from London to Strasbourg four years ago to visit the European Parliament, I was astonished to discover that Air France, which enjoyed a monopoly on the route, charged £550 return. MEPs and others were naturally delighted with Ryanair's rival service, charging as little as £40 - until last week, when Air France won a French court ruling that it was in breach of EU competition rules.

This distaste for unfair competition is a new one. A few years back, the European Court of Justice ruled that a French government subsidy of £2.4 billion for Air France was illegal. After a quiet word from Paris, however, the European Commission reframed the rules and the subsidy suddenly became legal after all."
http://www.warmwell.com/2aug31booker.html


User currently offlineVCE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4339 times:

@Kl911
Sorry, but the Netherlands have close to 18 million inhabitants.........

It doesn't change so much.


User currently offlineVCE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4332 times:

@Kl911
What should worry KL is the number of strikes that hit AF per year....
Unions in France are really communist.... Don't even talk about efficiency and jobcuts...... Unions will declare war immediately.


I totally agree with You. That's one of the reason i really hope in a strong alliance between AF/AZ/KL.

KL is a really good airline.


User currently offlineVCE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4314 times:

@Keesje

Are you joking? Do you want to compare the domestic market of the Netherlands or Italy?
In the Netherlands the only hub is AMS, and the 90% of the traffic is there. In Italy there are FCO and MXP and some other medium hubs like VCE, TRN, LIN, NAP.

Italy has made the fortune for many airlines (included KL) because in the last 15 years the management of AZ wasn't able to face with new strategies the big increase of the requests.
Thx to this management (fortunately now over), AZ lost almost half of the domestic market because of the big number of competitors, and the same happened on the international routes.

I remind You that AZ has to face not only the competition from the other foreign airlines, but even the competition from many Italian airlines on the domestic and the International routes:

Volare Airlines
Volareweb.com
Meridiana
Azzurra Air
Air One
Alpi Eagles
Wind Jet
Air Dolomiti
Lauda Air Italy
Air Europe
Blue Panorama

and others.


25 Tripple7 : @VCE The point is....that these 18 million people all live within 2 hours driving of AMS. This number does not even include the Ruhr Area in Germany,
26 Post contains images Keesje : VCE, how much competition do you think KLM has if it doesn't even have a sizeable home market ? Stealing away passengers from other airlines homemarke
27 VCE : @Tripple7 Surely you have never been to Italy. After that i read yr comments i can easily understand it as everybody who knows it. It's true, i come f
28 Tripple7 : @ VCE I am not bashing Italians here. So don't get emotional. I am just realistic. I have been in Italy about 10 times in my life. Last April I was in
29 Post contains links and images VCE : Nice picture Keesje http://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/vc.asp?i=/UCSMA/Images/fn5005-8.jpg View Large View MediumPhoto © Damiano GUALDONI View Larg
30 Post contains images VCE : @Tripple7 I'm realistic too. Being from the north of Italy i should agree with you But i use to go on holidays in the south every year and i know very
31 Post contains images VCE : Competition is really tough @ AMS just like it is anywhere in the "liberated" air transport world. Easyjet has a hub at AMS and many low cost carriers
32 Dispatch : Reply 2 says: Despite all the merger mania that has been discussed in Europe, to date no country has yet had its "national" airline merged with anothe
33 VCE : I agree with you Dispatch. Nobody of us wants to have a foreign Gov. to control the national airline. But this Government in Italy had on its electora
34 Post contains links Elwood64151 : Okay, so the heads of state of two European countries, both of whom would be in jail were it not for their position in the government, want to merge t
35 VCE : Berlusconi is (or was) on trial for bribing judges in a civil matter involving the purchase by a private organization of a state-owned food conglomera
36 VCE : And regarding this string, it's relevant because of the particular nature of Mr. Berlusconi's alleged crime. It's absolutely out of the topic, it's an
37 Dispatch : I, in turn, agree with VCE: the fact that Berlusconi and Chirac were "suspected" of "anything" has NOTHING to do with this topic, the merger of or all
38 VCE : I fully agree with You Peter. Let's hope in this alliance between AF/AZ/KL now.
39 Heavierthanair : G'day One of the greatest problems with Alitalia is all those politicians that want to have their say in all and everything with rarely anything actua
40 VCE : ..ignored like yr message..Heavierthanair..
41 Rafabozzolla : The problem with AZ is mismanagement. It could be competing, if not with LH, AF and BA, with IB, and KL for the fourth position in the European market
42 Lj : One of the greatest problems with Alitalia is all those politicians that want to have their say in all and everything with rarely anything actually be
43 VCE : The problem with AZ is mismanagement. It could be competing, if not with LH, AF and BA, with IB, and KL for the fourth position in the European market
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