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Alitalia intends to split from Air France-KLM pacts

Alitalia is to split from a number of partnership arrangements with fellow SkyTeam carrier Air France-KLM from 2017.

The two sides will not renew arrangements covering passenger services from Italy to France and the Netherlands.

Alitalia’s cargo division will also withdraw from marketing agreements for freight-hold carriage on flights conducted by Air France-KLM.

The Italian carrier says that the agreements have become increasingly one-sided and are “undermining” its efforts to restructure.

All the arrangements were originally made under Alitalia’s previous guise, before its tie-up with Middle Eastern operator Etihad Airways.

Alitalia says that the economic circumstances at the time, around 2009-10, were “very different”.

“These agreements are no longer beneficial [to us], either commercially or strategically,” says Alitalia chief executive Silvano Cassano.

“They were negotiated when Alitalia was in a very different position, with the result that the agreements, in their current forms, favour the other party.”

Air France-KLM could not immediately offer a response to the Alitalia decision.

Alitalia says it wants to stimulate inbound tourism and provide new export freight services to the country’s manufacturing industry.

“Our business needs agreements which deliver equitable value to each party,” says Cassano.

“We have indicated to Air France-KLM that we are willing to discuss more equitable arrangements that benefit all the parties involved but, thus far, we have been unable to achieve this result.”

Air France-KLM took a 25% shareholding in Alitalia in 2009 but this has been diluted over subsequent years. It stood at 7% at the end of 2013 but the effects of Etihad's investment in a 49% stake reduced Air France-KLM's shareholding to barely 1%.

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