The SAS operation at the start of the week does not seem to calm Air France-KLM’s appetite.
Until then, the Franco-Dutch group had had to be content to follow from afar the steps of its competitors who were shopping around the takeover of ITA Airways by Lufthansa and the takeover of Air Europa by IAG (both still subject to the ‘opinion of the EU), champing at the bit through the constraint of the State loan through which it was not possible to carry out investments, but only commercial operations.
The SAS maneuver
But it’s already autumn and the wind is turning. AF made its surprise move by entering the capital of SAS with around 20% of the shares in the rescue operation of the Scandinavian company in anti-bankruptcy protection; all in collaboration with two funds (Castlelake and Lindt Invest) and with the Danish State. A decision which will also allow Skyteam to tear SAS from Star Alliance. Well done, that’s heroic.
It now seems clear that the intentions are not to stop there and having equalized the score with the two rival groups does not seem sufficient for the group led by Benjamin Smith.
TAP, I want you!
On the horizon is the Portuguese company and, in these last hours, a message has come from the Parisian headquarters: “the SAS affair will not prevent us from participating in the race to buy TAP”. A sales process which appears at this stage more and more interesting and decisive for the fate of the European aviation landscape.
But the rest of us, sweet and gentle taxpayers, do you have any idea of those who finance the voracity of the national airline? Another case to follow… closely!