Two French independent carriers, Air Liberte and AOM, are seeking to become France's ``second force'' airline and to compete more aggressively against the troubled Air France group. Last month, AOM and Air Liberte implemented a wide-ranging business partnership, including a code-sharing agreement, that could lead to a merger. ``Independent carriers must unite to counter stiff competition that is expected to materialize in 1997 when the European Union's free trade policy is fully ...

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