DUBLIN – Air France-KLM has said that it had previously held talks with the owners of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) but was not engaged in current efforts to find new investors for the carrier.
“Air France-KLM continues to study global investment opportunities per its strategic goal to be an active yet pragmatic participant in industry consolidation, as presented at its Investors Day in November 2019,” the Franco-Dutch airline group said on Tuesday (Jan 21).
“Air France-KLM had previously been in contact with Malaysia Airlines’ shareholders, but at this stage Air France-KLM is not a current party to the sales process of Malaysia Airlines.”
Earlier, Reuters quoted sources as saying that proposals to invest in ailing MAS included one from Air France-KLM, which wants as much as 49 per cent, while Japan Airlines is looking at a 25 per cent stake
Domestic carrier AirAsia and Malindo Air, the Malaysian arm of Indonesia’s Lion Air, have also submitted proposals, the sources said.
The Malaysian government has been seeking a strategic partner for its national airline, which has struggled to recover from two tragedies in 2014 – the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 and the shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.
In 2014, it was taken private by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, which paid RM1.4 billion (S$465 million) for the 30 per cent of shares it did not already own.