In its search for the right group of friends, KLM will dump its long-term transatlantic alliance with Northwest Airlines if it needs to.
The Dutch carrier has been weighing the benefits of joining either the oneworld alliance or the rival SkyTeam alliance, and is expected to make a decision later this year.
“KLM wants to keep its successful alliance with Northwest,” spokesman Jan Christiaan Hellendoorn told Reuters. “But if it is in the best interest of both parties, the contract includes the terms under which the link can be ended,” he added.
Hellendoorn’s comments came on the heels of similar comments by Chief Executive Leo van Wijk in an interview with a British business magazine.
KLM officials also told Rueters that talks with Air France (SkyTeam) are currently more intensive than those with BA (oneworld), with whom it has previously held merger talks, but not necessarily more advanced.
The KLM/Northwest alliance — the longest-running transatlantic alliance of its kind — dates back to 1989.