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Amstelveen, Netherlands - The management of the Dutch flag carrier KLM doesn't rule out separation from the French partner Air France due to the ongoing global crisis, insiders told Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad.

Sources who spoke to the Dutch newspaper said the continuation of the partnership depends on whether Air France proceeds a significant reduction in its expenditure.

At the KLM headquarters in Amstelveen, people are not convinced about the willingness of their French partner to do so, especially after the state loan of seven billion euros from the French government.

 "That strengthens the position of the French government in Air France,"

 a KLM official said.


Relations between the French and Dutch carriers at Air France-KLM have deteriorated in recent years, culminating in the struggle around the reappointment of KLM CEO Pieter Elbers last year. KLM is annoyed that the French play boss, although their own house is not in order.

In Amstelveen, the conviction is growing that it might be better if the partnership between two companies is limited to a kind of operational coordination.

Nearly the entire fleet of both airlines is grounded and costs continue to increase. KLM management thinks a government-guaranteed loan of € 2 billion to € 4 billion will be enough with a projection that the air traffic will return to normal by the end of 2021.

KM is bothered that the € 4 billion of € 7 billion loan package offered by the French government has a term of twelve months only, and it may cover the handover of some Air France shares to the French government. Each of the Dutch and French governments owns 14% of Air France-KLM.

The aids could result in the nationalization of both airlines if demand for air travel doesn't return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, experts say.

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