Air France-KLM might wait until 2014 or 2015 until taking control of Italian airline Alitalia, in which it holds 25% since January 2009.
Air France-KLM has the possibility to boost its stake beginning January 2013, but wants to do the transaction through a share swap, meaning it won’t have enough time to bring back on track its flagging stock price until next year.
Air France-KLM’s market value is around 1 billion euro ($1.25 billion) after its shares went down 12% in 2012 after erasing 71% in 2011. The company plans to shed 2 billion euro operating costs and debt in the next 3 years by cutting fleet and staff costs, trying to face tough competition and soaring fuel prices.
“Air France now has a tailored industrial and strategic project,” said Air France Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac. “The objectives are ambitious but feasible.”
The company declared it will restructure its regional and domestic operations around Air France, which incorporates Britair, Regional and Airlinair units. The regional network reorganization means the company will reduce the size of its fleet, but by 2016 Transavia will fly around 20 aircrafts from only 8 today. Air France will try to rise productivity by 20% in its struggle to return to profit.