Wed, May 05, 2004
Air France Lands KLM, Alitalia Left To Grapple With
Air France and Holland's KLM
Airlines completed their merger Monday night, making the new
airline the third biggest in the world -- behind American and
The deal, reportedly worth $1.03 billion, did not include
Alitalia, the Italian carrier that had hoped to be part of the
final package. Now, Italian officials are scrambling for a way to
bail out the troubled airline, hoping that Alitalia can reach a
restructuring deal with its unions.
As for the Air France-KLM deal, both
Air France and KLM will keep their identities, according to both
airlines. KLM will remain a Dutch carrier, with 51-percent of its
voting rights held in Holland.
"It is a merger only in name as they are not combining large
elements of their cost bases," said one London-based analyst who
wanted to remain anonymous. "Given the structure, I think they
could run into trouble if there were an industry shock and they
wanted to take out a lot of capacity and costs."
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