Air France-KLM and Delta reject need for equity ties

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SkyTeam partners Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines, which have just signed a wide-ranging transatlantic joint venture, believe there is no business need for cross-equity deals.

Yesterday Air France-KLM and Delta revealed their new joint venture, which covers 25% of all transatlantic capacity. This follows on from joint ventures between Air France and Delta, and KLM and Northwest Airlines - which has now merged with Delta.

Speaking during a media briefing in Paris to mark the signing of the carriers' new transatlantic joint venture, Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson reiterated recent comments regarding foreign equity stakes. "What we have discovered [through the Air France-Delta and KLM-Northwest joint ventures] is that there is no business need for trans-border equity investments," he says.

He explains that commercial benefits can instead be achieved within the existing regulatory framework.

Air France executive VP for marketing and network management Bruno Matheu says the French SkyTeam member shares Anderson's view. Air France is not planning on pushing for transatlantic airline ownership restrictions to be relaxed.

The comments come as EU and US officials prepare to tackle controversial equity and cabotage issues in the next round of 'open skies' talks.