Air France Chief Sees Talks Soon With Alitalia

October 17, 2007

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Talks between Air France KLM and Alitalia will start in coming weeks, Air France KLM CEO Jean-Cyril Spinetta said on Wednesday.

"We are on the short list issued by Alitalia. Discussions haven't started yet, but they will probably start in coming weeks," Spinetta said.

He added Air France was not interested in opening up routes to the United States from Italy under the Open Skies deal if its merger talks with Alitalia did not lead anywhere. And if it did a deal with Alitalia, the Italian carrier would handle those routes.

He said Air France KLM was also still evaluating whether to get together with Iberia.

Confirming figures reported by analysts after an investor meeting on Monday, Spinetta also said the French airline's transatlantic joint venture with Delta would yield several tens of millions of euros in profits for Air France.

(Reuters)