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

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

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.

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

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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