MILAN (Reuters) – Air France suffered a 70% fall in revenue in August while filling only about 30% of the seats on its intercontinental routes, its CEO has told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The carrier, part of Air France-KLM group

, is still burning through 10 million euros in cash a day but is working to limit losses, CEO Anne Rigail said in an interview published on Wednesday.

It has formed a new transatlantic joint venture with Delta Air Lines

and Virgin Atlantic, replacing a partnership that also involved Italy’s Alitalia.

Rigail invited Alitalia, which is due to be nationalised, to join the new group, even if as a second level member.

“Alitalia is a long-standing partner and we will propose to them to join the joint venture as an associate member. I want to maintain a strong relationship with them,” she said.

Rigail ruled out an investment in Alitalia but expressed interest in its offer of rapid tests for COVID-19 for passengers flying on certain routes.

“Before we have a vaccine we could reopen some routes with rapid tests as (Alitalia) is experiencing in Milan and Rome,” she told the newspaper.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; editing by Jason Neely)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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