Monday, October 30, 2017

Air France-KLM to form JV with Jet Airways, Says CEO

Jet Airways which will likely entail synergies on more routes, their respective frequent flyer programmes, "metal neutrality" as well as cargo and engineering, the CEO of the Dutch carrier said Monday in an interview to ET.

This is the first time when Pieter Elbers, the chief of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, has in specific terms mentioned the joint venture and how close the airlines are to forming it.

Elbers also confirmed "metal neutrality" is being looked at. It's a concept under which the airline partners become agnostic to whose aircraft or "metal" carries the passenger. US laws also relate it to the term "virtual merger" under which the partners work as closely as possible without actually merging on a strategic or balance sheet level.

Elbers refrained from giving a timeline, but mentioned the above-mentioned contours that will likely be part of the agreement.

The JV would likely give Jet unprecedented reach into the western airspace without necessary having to deploy its own planes. Meanwhile, the airline is firming up plans to order about 100 Boeing 737 Max planes to deepen its reach within India's domestic air routes.
30/10/17 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times

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