In a strategic review following disappointing results over the past years, Braathens’ Board has concluded that the interests of the company can better be served when a link-up is made with the Scandinavian national carrier SAS.
As a consequence, Braathens and KLM have concluded that a continued financial participation of KLM in Braathens ASA is no longer appropriate. In line with this conclusion, KLM has decided to sell its 30% shareholding in the Norwegian carrier. The transaction is subject to normal due diligence procedures and approval by the anti-trust authorities. Braathens sought the share holding from KLM in 1997 as a prerequisite for the commercial cooperation entered into by both partners at the time.
In the present competitive environment in Europe, regional airlines do not succeed in adding the intended market clout to the major airlines and surviving in their own markets. Even the relatively strong market position of Braathens in Scandinavia four years ago has shown not to be a guarantee for a sustainable, long term, successful business result for the Norwegian airline.
These developments underscore KLM’s well known opinion that ultimately only a link up with a major European partner will achieve KLM’s goals.
By mutual agreement, the commercial cooperation between KLM and Braathens will gradually be dismantled in the coming period. The cooperation currently focuses primarily on two feeder routes into Amsterdam from Stavanger and Bergen operated by Braathens.
KLM will maintain its strong position in Norway with direct services connecting the Amsterdam hub with Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen and Sandefjord, for which the commercial activities will be resumed by KLM in due course.