28 September, 2019

Air France - KLM boss glad other French airlines have gone bankrupt.

The controversial new boss of the Air France-KLM group says he's glad other airlines in France have gone bankrupt, indicating it would eventually benefit the French aviation industry. 

Ben Smith ordered Air France to drop a rescue bid for Aigle Azur, so it could pick the bones of the carcass and snap up costly airport slots at a fraction of the price, French aviation commentators have said. Officially Air France dropped its part in a rescue bid for the troubled carrier because any takeover would 'harm staff relations.'.

“There is going to be consolidation,” Smith said at a ceremony in Toulouse for the delivery of the first Air France A350. “We believe positive results will come out of it, to ensure that airlines that are based here in France will be stronger to compete globally, - The jobs associated with those larger more powerful airlines will be created here in France.” Smith was speaking just hours after he turned down requests from XL Airways for help.  “We have a stable social environment today in Air France, and we’ve made it clear we’re not going to jeopardise that,” he said. 

Whilst Smith is happy to see French workers out of jobs, he is far from alone, Willie Walsh, the boss of IAG - which owns Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Level and Vueling is equally content at the current situations. He said that bankruptcies among competitors would help support the group’s growth next year. 

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