Air France-KLM has announced it plans to take a 20% stake in Scandinavian carrier SAS.

The airline group incorporating the national carriers of France and the Netherlands has said it is “determined to play an active role in the consolidation of European aviation” through the acquisition.

Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, said: “This is an important day for SAS and for Air France-KLM. We are pleased to be part of the winning bidding consortium selected by the board of SAS.

“Air France-KLM looks forward to establishing strong commercial ties with SAS. With its well-established position in Scandinavia and strong brand, SAS offers tremendous potential to Air France-KLM.

“This cooperation will allow Air France-KLM to enhance its position in the Nordics and improve connectivity for Scandinavian and European travellers.

“We look forward to being a part of this new chapter in SAS’ history and thank the board of SAS for their trust.”

SAS stake

The investment proposal remains to be finalised and is subject to conditions and regulatory approvals including by the European Commission, the US court overseeing the Chapter 11 reorganisation and the Swedish court.

Upon completion of the transaction, Air France-KLM would own up to a maximum 19.9% non-controlling stake in the share capital of the reorganised SAS AB.

Air France-KLM’s investment would represent a total of $144.5m.

Air France-KLM said the agreement would strengthen its footprint in Scandinavian markets, where the brand and loyalty programme are well-established.

The commercial cooperation would also “benefit Scandinavian customers through extended connectivity and broader access to the worldwide network of Air France-KLM”.

The announcement comes after the Air France-KLM Group said it was to place an order for 50 Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft – with purchase rights for 40 additional aircraft.Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter

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