Air Transport World

Air France.(Europe)

The French flag carrier became a European flag carrier and the largest airline in the world in terms of revenues and third-largest in traffic volume after it absorbed KLM through an exchange offer that ended May 21. Following the issuance of new shares, AF is now de facto privatized. The French state holds 44.07% of the new company, AF employees 10.42% and the public float is 45.51%, of which 18.4% is held by former KLM shareholders. The French state has stated it intends to reduce its shareholding to 20%.

"We have always been convinced of the necessity of consolidation in the airline industry," AF Chairman and CEO Jean-Cyril Spinetta said. "Capitalizing on the two brands and on the complementary strengths of both companies, we should, within SkyTeam, be able to capture enhanced growth opportunities. …

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