In discussions between the management and the airline's unions, Air France–KLM head Jean-Cyril Spinetta has warned that the carrier may not see any capacity growth in the coming two year period.
Speaking at a meeting convened to discuss the airline's position in the ongoing financial crisis, Spinetta said the airline could be facing tough times till 2011.
News agency Reuters Thompson quoted unnamed sources belonging to the Franco-Dutch carrier as saying that Spinetta suggested the possibility of zero growth in capacity for Fir France – KLM in 2009 and 2010.
The report said that chairman and CEO of Air France highlighted that Air France was determined to ''keep jobs whenever possible'', even in the face of the global economic slowdown that meant ''there could be no absolute guarantee about this."
Air France –KLM was one of the front runners for the Austrian government's 42 per cent stake in the debt-ridden Austrian Airlines. Air France-KLM, as well as other suitors for the stake such as the Russian airline S7 are now asking for more time since the global airline industry is going through hard times.
Air France-KLM, a few days ago, was reported to have said that the current financial uncertainty in the global aviation industry has made it difficult for the airline to make an offer for Austrian Airlines. However, it did not rule out a possible offer in the future.
Air France - KLM was also looking to acquire "anywhere between zero and 49 per cent" in the troubled Italian flag carrier Alitalia, as stated by deputy CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon while he was talking to airline news agency ATWOnline in September.
An earlier bid by Air France – KLM in April 2008 was scuttled due to Italian prime minister Berlusconi's opposition to the carrier's initiative, whereby Alitalia's unions rejected the deal. That rejection had forced Alitalia and the previous Italian government to abort the rescue mission for the Italian flag carier. Subsequently, Berlusconi's own efforts to mount a rescue mission though an Italian consortium has also faced opposition from Alitalia's firmly entrenched unions.