Actually Floris kinda sounds like they are leaning toward AF
(Amsterdam- News), Europe's No. 4 airline, is currently not talking with British Airways about forming an alliance after discussions on joining Air France's SkyTeam have intensified, a KLM spokesman said on Wednesday.
Dutch KLM has said the talks with the French flag carrier were more advanced, but this is the first time KLM said it was not holding parallel discussions with BA
"We have held talks with BA
on and off for many years and we know each other's points of view very well. We took stock and decided that we would focus on talking to Air France," the spokesman, Bart Koster, said.
Earlier on Wednesday Air France also said discussions with KLM had moved to a more advanced stage.
Koster declined to say when KLM last talked to the UK airline but insisted that discussions about joining BA
's oneworld alliance could resume at any time. In the past decade KLM and BA
made several unsuccessful merger attempts.
The KLM spokesman would not say what caused the deadlock in the discussions with BA
. KLM Chief Executive Leo van Wijk had said BA
was still keen on taking over its smaller rival.
Most analysts predict that KLM will join SkyTeam because its long-term U.S. partner, Northwest, is closely working with Delta , a SkyTeam member. Joining that alliance is expected to be KLM's first step towards an eventual takeover by Air France to create Europe's largest airline.
But the Dutch carrier and Air France still have to settle several outstanding issues, including the French carrier's unfinished privatisation, KLM spokesman said.
"Air France is still majority state-owned. We want to have more information about privatisation before we commit," Koster said.
The French government is expected to decrease its majority stake in Air France is the coming months, most likely through a secondary issue. Last week a French newspaper suggested that France could swap a part of its holding for control of KLM.
Another hot issue that has complicated talks with Air France, as well as with BA
, is KLM's desire to maintain its Dutch identity and solidify the role of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport as a major European hub.