In an exclusive interview with CNN's Richard Quest, Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith explains the rationale behind his airline's interest in acquiring a stake in Scandinavian rival SAS. Smith highlights the strategic advantages and potential synergies that such a partnership could bring to both airlines.
Smith emphasizes that the aviation industry is highly competitive and constantly evolving. In this context, he believes that collaboration and consolidation are key to ensuring long-term success. By joining forces with SAS, Air France-KLM aims to strengthen its position in the Scandinavian market and enhance its network connectivity in the region.
Furthermore, Smith points out that SAS has a strong reputation for operational excellence and customer service, making it an attractive partner for Air France-KLM. By leveraging each other's strengths, the two airlines can improve their overall competitiveness and offer enhanced travel experiences to their customers.
Smith also acknowledges the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted the aviation industry. However, he remains optimistic about the industry's recovery and sees this as an opportune time to explore potential partnerships and investments.
Overall, Air France-KLM's interest in acquiring a stake in SAS is driven by a strategic vision to strengthen its market position, improve network connectivity, and enhance customer experiences. Smith believes that collaboration and consolidation are crucial for the long-term success of airlines in the highly competitive aviation industry.