The Financial Times' sister newspaper in France, Les €chos, has learnt that a wide ranged alliance between Air France and KLM has been planned with the former taking a stake in the latter.
A deal could be signed before the year end. Such a deal would end KLM's search for a nice €uropean partner. Unsucessful merger talks between itself and British Airways and Alitalia have failed.
The scale of this deal would be far larger than between Air France and Alitalia, where both will take a 3% stake in eachother. Any deal would need the consent of the Dutch government who has a 13% stake in KLM.
"The time of big alliances has come" said Gilles de Robien, the French transport minister. He also said, "the notion of national flag carriers will lose its importance. It is necessary to give Air France the means to make itself felt so that it can participate in the process of European air transport consolidation".
More information at the Financial Times website
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