After starting takeover talks with Alitalia, Air France-KLM’s Chief Executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta has been trying to reassure the Italians that the carrier will not be downgraded into a regional airline.
Spinetta also stressed there were no plans to “abandon” Milan’s Malpensa airport in Northern Italy to concentrate on Rome. He said: “With regard to the connections between Milan and major European cities, we’re going to maintain a very full network and by revising the schedules, we can considerably improve the service to the Italian business community flying from Milan.” He added Alitalia’s turnaround hinges on moving unprofitable flights away form Malpensa.
Spinetta said is he confident that Alitalia’s unions will back his plan to buy the unprofitable airline even though he is planning 1,700 layoffs. Getting the support of the strike-prone unions is seen as crucial to closing the deal.