July 19, 2018 / 10:23 AM / a year ago

Air France-KLM and China Eastern Airlines broaden their joint venture

FILE PHOTO: The Air France-KLM company logo is seen at the annual shareholder meeting in the La Defense business district in Puteaux, France, May 15, 2018. Picture taken May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) and its stakeholder and business partner China Eastern Airlines (600115.SS) announced plans on Thursday to broaden their joint venture to take in new routes.

The companies said they would add the Paris-Wuhan and Paris-Kunming routes to their network, on a code-sharing basis.

“By strengthening the joint venture, our group pursues its partnership-driven Asia strategy.” said Air France KLM executive Patrick Alexandre in a statement.

China Eastern Airlines and Delta Airlines (DAL.N) each hold 8.8 percent of Air France-KLM’s share capital.

The French government holds 14 percent, while AccorHotels (ACCP.PA) has expressed interest in taking a minority stake in Air France-KLM.

Air France-KLM has been looking for a new chief executive following the abrupt departure of chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac in May, after staff rejected a pay proposal aimed at ending strikes that have resulted in heavy losses.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Dominique Vidalon

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