Bad feelings between Northwest Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines were put aside Wednesday as KLM agreed to sell back its ownership stake in the U.S. carrier for more than $1 billion, more than doubling its initial investment.
The airlines also said they will replace a partnership with long-term contracts to keep the profitable alliance going.
“Northwest and KLM will expand the most successful airline alliance in the industry. Potentially that means greater revenues and profits for both airlines,” said Northwest spokesman Doug Killian.
“I think it’s a good move for Northwest and also for KLM,” said Terry Tripler, publisher of The Airfare Report, an aviation newsletter in Minneapolis. “To Northwest, it means they got a monkey off their back. Now they can run their own show without someone questioning what they’re doing.”
Northwest will buy back KLM’s entire 19.7 percent stake over the next four years at a cost of between $1.07 billion and $1.17 billion.
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