Cabinet wants more Air France-KLM shares: is it wise?

The Netherlands is once again investing hundreds of millions in Air France-KLM. The state wants to buy new shares for about 220 million euros, to maintain the interest of 9.3 percent. By now buying shares again, the Dutch state’s interest in Air France KLM will again be exactly the same as that of the French state.

Not surprisingly, he says news hour-economist Mathijs Bouman. “It’s common for a company, when they issue new shares, to ask current shareholders: are you in? It would have been more surprising if we had not participated.”

Willem Schmid, chairman of the pilots’ union, thinks it is good news that the Netherlands is buying more shares. “This serves the public interest. It means that the Dutch state remains involved in the course of the business, enabling it to serve Dutch interests, aimed at a strong independent hub function that connects the Netherlands with the world.” A hub is the center of a network, a node.

According to Schmid, it is difficult to answer the question of what interest in Air France-KLM has been for the Netherlands so far because it “sometimes involves more indirect and less visible impacts”. “The interest and investment from other (private) parties that Air France – KLM announces today shows that the company is on its way back to becoming a sound and profitable company with a strong future perspective.”

Economist Mathijs Bouman says that Air France – KLM’s capital position will actually be improved by buying the shares. “But the spicy thing is that most of the proceeds from this share sale will be used to pay off debts to the French government.”

According to Reinier Castelein, chairman of the trade union De Unie, it is particularly important that the cabinet comes up with a clear policy. He is for the purchase of shares.

“We are also investing heavily in the A2 and A27 motorways. I see the same thing on KLM: as vital infrastructure. The question is just what the plans are. There will be support again, but on the other hand there will also be a flight tax. Until now On at that time I have no idea what the government is doing. I would say: make the plans clear. “


So far, the intention to gain more control at the top of Air France-KLM seems to have failed to materialize. For example, CEO Ben Smith received a hefty bonus against the government’s wish last year. KLM’s ground staff has recently stopped working due to the poor working conditions.

No one wonders what the hub feature really means to us or what it means for the job market. And whether it fits into our own climate goals.

Aviation journalist Ties Joosten

According to aviation journalist Ties Joosten, Holland’s share has long since diluted. According to him, this does not change the purchase of new shares at all. “One might wonder if this is a bad thing. We did not need to transfer money. We still do not have to do it. Air France-KLM wants to focus further on freight traffic, with boxes full of things flying around the earth “struggle to achieve the climate goals?”

According to Joosten, whether the Netherlands will do well to buy shares again is a political question. Even he does not think the Cabinet will ever set a limit on support. According to Joosten, the letter that Ministers Sigrid Kaag (Finance) and Mark Harbers (Infrastructure) sent to the Folketing could have been written ten years ago.

“I have heard the same arguments for a hundred years, for example about the hub function that the Netherlands should not lose. It is to act out of emotion, for fear of being skipped. It benefits the labor market. And whether this fits before for our own climate goals. “

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