The French government is planning to give up the majority control of Air...
The French government is planning to give up the majority control of Air France, which is the third largets airline in Europe, as soon as market conditions allow through a share sale.
The government, which owns a 54 percent stake in the flag carrier, will remain one of Air France's main investors, the Finance Ministry said in a faxed statement. France may cut its stake below a fifth however, a ministry official said. Air France declined to comment on the claims.
?The government must give the company more freedom to help accelerate the modernization of its fleet, consolidate alliances and find new partnerships,? the ministry said.
Most of Europe's national carriers are privatized, apart from Air France and its alliance partner, Alitalia SpA. The French government probably delayed selling more shares in the airline until it became profitable, analysts said. Europe's third carrier by passenger numbers earned a million euros ($980,000) in its fiscal fourth-quarter, compared with a loss of 40 million euros a year ago.