France to help Pakistan ease energy crisis: Ambassador
If the conditions are met, I am ready to go ahead,” Air France-KLM Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac told French daily Les Echos on Tuesday, without giving more details on the terms he had in mind. Gilberto Benetton, who invests in Alitalia via motorway group Atlantia’s 8.9 percent stake in the airline, said earlier on Tuesday he would welcome Air France-KLM taking control of the group, but warned Italy’s interests should be protected first. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, other ministers, banks and Alitalia’s management met on Tuesday to find a way of beefing up Alitalia’s finances to give it greater negotiating clout in its dealings with Air France-KLM. But the talks failed to reach any decision because of the uncertain political climate and another meeting was called for next week. There are worries that any Air France-KLM investment would clash with Italy’s ambition to make Rome a hub for intercontinental flights, and instead turn Alitalia into a regional player and trigger job cuts. But de Juniac’s comments signaled he did not doubt Alitalia’s ability to operate on long-haul routes – a strategy the group is betting on to revive its fortunes after its plans to become a strong regional player came unstuck in the face of tough competition and lower demand. “Air France-KLM-Alitalia, if one day we are united, could become a very great European brand. In such a scenario, we could supply (Alitalia’s) long-haul flights with passengers from Air France and KLM and they could do the same for us,” he said. De Juniac added that he could see Alitalia boosting its intercontinental routes where its own network might be weak. “Alitalia has strong points in Africa, Latin America and North America, where there is a strong Italian diaspora that can complement ours,” he told the paper. “Alitalia strengthens our commercial footprint pretty much everywhere. There are already many synergies.” NO CAPITAL INCREASE Analysts said Air France-KLM was unlikely to give up on Alitalia by letting it fail and opening Europe’s fourth-largest travel market to more competition. But Air France-KLM has set strict conditions on how the company should be restructured.
Visitors to D-Day cemetery in France among the victims of U.S. shutdown
It sounds as though it’s at least a possibility, according to several reports out Tuesday (Oct. 1) . That comes as Alitalia — which has history is perhaps best known for a seemingly endless cycle of financial emergencies — enters a new round of turbulence that has it looking for ways to raise cash. Alitalia’s deteriorating balance sheets have prompted speculation that partner Air France-KLM — which already has a 25% stake in the carrier — could come to the rescue. RELATED: A familiar place: Alitalia back to the financial brink As for the reports raising the possibility of a merger, one is one from Reuters . The news agency writes “Air France-KLM said on Tuesday it was open to merging with Alitalia in a move seen as the best solution for turning round the loss-making Italian airline.” Dow Jones Newswires ran a similar report , noting one key Alitalia shareholder views Air France-KLM “as a good candidate to take control of the carrier, (though) he said the ultimate decision lay with the (Italian) government.” “(Air France-KLM) is a good buyer,” Gilberto Benetton is quoted by Dow Jones as saying to reporters at the Milan exchange. However, Benetton says the Italian government would have to have a say — and that Air France-KLM would have to detail what it would do with Alitalia in a merger. “If the government doesn’t sit at the table with Air France-KLM … the danger is that Italy as a country becomes a region,” he’s quoted as saying be Dow Jones . “This must be avoided at all costs.” Dow Jones writes Benetton’s family, whose holdings include the eponymous retail chain, is “among a group of Italian financiers and industrialists that came to the rescue of Alitalia five years ago to stop the airline from being bought by Air France-KLM, which nevertheless owns a 25% stake.” However, Air France-KLM CEO Alexandre de Juniac indicates any move his company may make regarding Alitalia will be deliberate. “Our conditions for helping Alitalia are very strict. If the conditions are met, I am ready to go ahead,” Air France-KLM Chief Executive de Juniac is quoted by Reuters as saying to the French newspaper Les Echos. He did not specify what those conditions might be. But whether Air France-KLM considers a merger or simply tries to increase its stake in its SkyTeam partner overcoming Italian concerns could be key. REUTERS: Air France-KLM may help Alitalia under conditions: report Reuters says such concerns will likely center on whether “any Air France-KLM investment would clash with Italy’s ambition to make Rome a hub for intercontinental flights, and instead turn Alitalia into a regional player and trigger job cuts.” “Air France-KLM-Alitalia, if one day we are united, could become a very great European brand,” de Juniac says in comments that could help assuage such fear.
Air France-KLM may help Alitalia under conditions: report
shutdown Americans traveling to France to pay their respects at the Normandy American Cemetary were turned away because of the federal government shutdown. By The Associated Press / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 12:00 PM Comment Finbarr O’Reilly / Reuters/REUTERS Crosses stand at the American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy. Located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, one of the D-Day landing sites, the cemetery contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead. Tourists travelling to Omaha Beach to pay their respects to the 9,387 military dead at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial will find it closed, a victim of the U.S. governments partial shutdown. The site overlooking the D-Day invasion beaches is one of 24 U.S. military cemeteries overseas that have closed to visitors since Monday. Ten more cemeteries in in France, as well as others in various European countries as well as Mexico, Panama, Tunisia and the Philippines, will remain closed for the duration of the shutdown. The cemeteries are maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission, set up after the First World War. Nearly 125,000 U.S. servicemen and women are buried at its cemeteries, and an additional 94,000 are commemorated on tablets of the missing.
Talking to media persons after inaugurating a roadshow titled, ‘World of Energy Efficiency for a better Pakistan,” here by Schneider Electric, a company which offers solutions for energy management, the ambassador said France was collaborating with other partners including Asian Development Bank etc on different components of energy-related projects and one of these schemes which cost $600 million would help Pakistan save 1000 WM. Replying to a question, he said France had international commitments and would abide by them with regard to the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project. The ambassador said Pakistan was a sovereign state and took decisions on their own for meeting its energy needs. As far as French government was concerned, he added, it would go by the international commitments, adding Pakistan had not requested for cooperation with regard to the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project. He said France was focussing on small projects including “Munda Dam” and other hydropower projects to efficiently ease energy crisis in Pakistan. Earlier inaugurating the show, he lauded the management of Schneider Electric for bringing their whole product profile under one roof. He said that such roadshows will definitely leave an impact on energy efficient measures in future. He said the roadshow was being held under the umbrella campaign Experience Efficiency to showcase the complete energy solution portfolio of Schneider Electric under one roof. He said the event would act as a platform to educate the national stakeholders about energy solutions and seek to address energy challenges by offering solutions that add value to one’s business in the long run while aimed at all relevant audience of Schneider Electric – end users, government entities and the partners, the event will also touch upon key innovative and industry leading breakthroughs Schneider Electric have achieved globally including Ecostruxure, Struxureware and Smartstruxure. The event is being leveraged as a platform to showcase Schneider Electric’s portfolio of integrated solutions that facilitate intelligent energy management for its customers. Benoit Dubarle, Country President – UAE, Oman & Pakistan, Schneider Electric Gulf said “Our roadshow offers a unique platform to identify new opportunities and a chance to meet with influential thought leaders and decision makers in the sectors we focus on – energy, IT, finance, government, hotels, healthcare and manufacturing. The event highlights the growing role of Pakistan in the Schneider Electric world and our effort to bring the best technologies and expertise in the energy management space to our customers in Pakistan. The event aims to deliver high quality networking and business development opportunities. It is also be the right occasion for the attendees to meet with experts and specialists from Schneider Electric.” Elaborating further, Mohkam Sheikh, Vice President, Power Business Unit, Schneider Electric said that” One of the major focus of the event is our Ecostruxure booth, an integrated solution from Schneider Electric which can reduce the energy consumption by 30 percent of a particular building or manufacturing facility.