Air France-KLM chief executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta does not see the proposed joint venture between SkyTeam partner Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic significantly reducing traffic from North America to its hubs in Paris or Amsterdam.
Speaking at Air France-KLM's annual financial results announcement for 2012 in Paris today, Spinetta acknowledged "the risk exists" that its hubs, which enjoy traffic from the airline's own joint venture with Delta, could lose passengers to London as a result of the US carrier's tie-up with Virgin, but added "it's very limited".
He says that Paris was not likely to experience much reduction in passenger numbers, but that traffic to Amsterdam could be affected.
Spinetta says some passengers travelling from destinations such as Scotland to North America may choose to transfer in London rather than Amsterdam as a result of the launch of Virgin's UK domestic routes,
Should the tie-up be given the green light from the competition authorities, Spinetta envisages Virgin becoming a member of the SkyTeam alliance. He says this would "be logical" as both Air France-KLM and Delta are members and that the new joint venture would "globally reinforce the attractiveness of Delta and Air France-KLM".