With the announcement in October that Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) is to be integrated into the Air France-KLM Group it is increasingly inevitable that the European long-haul scene during 2024 will consolidate into just three major groups.
Lufthansa already controls its own brand, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, ITA Airlines (Italy), SunExpress (Germany/Turkey) and Swiss.
With IAG the owner of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Level and Vueling this leaves TAP Portugal as the only independent national carrier in Europe. IAG is said to have TAP in its sight.
Outside these airlines Virgin Atlantic is 49% Delta-owned but part of Skyteam in terms of marketing, structured with fellow member Air France-KLM.
Announcing the deal Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, said: “This is an important day for SAS and for Air France-KLM. We are pleased to be part of the winning bidding consortium selected by the board of SAS. Air France-KLM looks forward to establishing strong commercial ties with SAS. With its well-established position in Scandinavia and strong brand, SAS offers tremendous potential to Air France-KLM. This cooperation will allow Air France-KLM to enhance its position in the Nordics and improve connectivity for Scandinavian and European travellers. We look forward to being a part of this new chapter in SAS’ history and thank the board of SAS for their trust”.
The financial implications are yet to be announced but the deal is expected to leave nothing for the existing shareholders of SAS who have been wiped out by the Chapter 11 restructuring.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 200 words maximum
David Starkie, United Kingdom
I am not sure how all this consolidation favours the consumer and the price of a ticket. I read a post the other day complaining about the high price of flying in Germany, where for some reason, the LCCs have been reluctant to enter. SAS/KLM/AF still to be approved by the Commission?
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