Northwest Airlines (NASDAQ:NWAC) President Doug Steenland today released the following statement on the KLM/Air France business relationship agreement:
“We welcome today`s announcement as it is consistent with KLM`s long held view that it needed to partner with a larger European airline. Today’s announcement indicates that KLM will strengthen its market position in Europe and protect the interests of its stakeholders and its hub at Amsterdam`s Schiphol Airport.
Northwest`s and KLM`s trans-Atlantic joint venture, the airline industry`s most advanced alliance, will continue in place pursuant to the long term agreement between KLM and Northwest. Northwest will continue to serve Schiphol Airport as its main European hub.
The Northwest/KLM joint venture will operate on a ‘business as usual’ basis and will continue to compete, as it does now, against the Air France/Delta alliance.
The announced creation of a European airline group by KLM and Air France is, in our view, in the best interest of the two airlines` customers, employees and other stakeholders and will result in no reduction of competition in the US markets.”
Northwest Airlines is the world`s fourth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam, and approximately 1,500 daily departures. With its travel partners, Northwest serves nearly 750 cities in almost 120 countries on six continents.