Air France-KLM is looking carefully at taking a 49% stake in ailing Malaysia Airlines, Reuters stated on Tuesday basing its story on sources close to the affair. The Malaysian government currently has several candidates in mind.
Kuala Lumpur is looking for a strategic partner for its airline company, which is only just recovering from the disappearances – still unexplained – of flight MH370 in 2014 and of flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine some months later.
Aside from the Franco-Dutch group, Japan Airlines also wants in on the act, with Reuters reporting the Japanese company would itself like a 25% share. AirAsia and Malindo Air, the Malaysian branch of the Indonesian group Lion Air, have also come into the reckoning, the negotiations now numbering five participants. Some proposals have however already been rejected, the Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad stated. His preference would be for foreign companies that would be able to utilise the country’s strategic position to develop their activities in Asia.
Malaysia Airlines concluded a local agreement last year with Japan Airlines, both companies being partners within the Oneworld alliance. Air France-KLM itself forms part of the rival SkyTeam.