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Air France-KLM outlines the changes and strategies for their Summer Schedule

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) have outlines the changes for its upcoming Summer Schedule effective from March 29 through October 24, 2015. Overall the Air France-KLM Group capacity is increasing (+ 1.7%) compared with the summer 2014 season.

Long-haul operations are increasing by 1.8%. Medium-haul activity is continuing its reorganization and is decreasing by 1.9%. Transavia’s low cost operations (+ 7.8%) are undergoing strong development in France and are being consolidated in the Netherlands.

Here are the highlights:

Long-haul: Air France-KLM is increasing services to Canada and is launching two new routes: Vancouver operated by Air France from March 25, 2015 and Edmonton served by KLM from  May 5, 2015. The Group is also improving its position in South America thanks to the launch of a new KLM route to Bogota and Cali (Colombia) from March 31, 2015.

Medium-haul: Air France-KLM is developing its European network on departure from the Amsterdam-Schiphol hub by adding three new destinations operated by KLM Cityhopper as from May 18, 2015: Belfast (Northern Ireland), Krakow (Poland) and Montpellier (France). At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Air France is increasing capacity to Bordeaux (France), Naples (Italy), Billund (Denmark), Bucharest (Romania) and Budapest (Hungary).

On departure from Paris-Orly and the regional airports, the Group continues to reorganize its short-haul activity, currently regrouped within HOP! Air France’s operations.

Low-cost operations: Transavia is continuing its rapid development in France (+30%) and is consolidating its activity in the Netherlands. The company is launching 14 new routes, while strengthening its offer of flights to the most popular summer destinations.

New products and services: Air France-KLM is continuing its move upmarket. At the end of the summer season, 20 Air France Boeing 777 (above) will be equipped with the latest BEST cabins. After renovating its World Business Class cabin on all its Boeing 747-400, KLM is gradually equipping its fleet of Boeing 777 with its new World Business Class and Economy Class. From April 2015, Air France is also introducing a new leather seat on 24 Airbus A319 on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. It will then equip 25 Airbus A320 in the first half of 2016.

Partnerships: As well as strengthening its joint ventures (Delta, Alitalia, China Southern, China Eastern, Kenya Airways, Air Mauritius) and its strategic agreements (GOL), Air France-KLM is continuing the development of its partnerships all over the world. To offer more and more flight frequencies and destinations, the Group is extending its cooperation with the Canadian airline WestJet. The Group also has strong ambitions In Asia, illustrated by the signing of a cooperation agreement between KLM and Xiamen Airlines and the code-share agreement with Garuda on flights between Amsterdam and Jakarta.

LONG-HAUL: +1.8%

Air France-KLM’s long-haul activity is increasing by +1.8%.

North America

For the 2015 summer season, Air France-KLM is increasing services to Canada. As of March 25, 2015, Air France is launching a new route to Vancouver, with up to 5 weekly flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. KLM is also introducing a new service between Amsterdam-Schiphol and Edmonton on May 5, 2015, with 3 weekly flights, then 4 weekly flights as of  June 22, 2015.

Air France-KLM is developing its partnership with the Canadian airline WestJet, by offering new connecting opportunities in North America in addition to the new Paris-Vancouver and Amsterdam-Edmonton routes. Moreover, the Group is maintaining its close cooperation with Delta Air Lines as part of the trans-Atlantic joint venture.

Between May and September 2015, the seasonal service to Minneapolis-Saint Paul (USA) will be resumed from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. To meet market demand, Air France will be operating a second daily flight to San Francisco (USA) during the peak summer season (from mid-June to the end of August 2015). KLM is also further extending its second flight to Los Angeles to the full summer period, offering 12 weekly frequencies.

Central and South America and the Caribbean

As from March 31, 2015, KLM is launching a new service to Bogota and Cali (Colombia) from Amsterdam-Schiphol with 3 weekly frequencies. As a continuation of the winter season, Air France is increasing capacity to Panama City, with 5 weekly flights. Services to Brasilia (Brazil), launched in summer 2014, are maintained with 3 weekly frequencies.

In addition, Air France-KLM is maintaining its close cooperation with the Brazilian airline GOL, in order to offer numerous connecting opportunities to its customers on the Brazilian domestic network.In the Caribbean, as a continuation of the winter schedule, Air France-KLM is adjusting capacity during the peak summer season. The Company will offer up to 13 weekly flights to Pointe à Pitre and up to 11 weekly flights to Fort de France. Moreover, during the peak summer period, KLM will be operating a second nonstop flight twice a week to Curacao, in addition to the daily flight from Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Asia

Air France is continuing its daily service to Hong Kong (China) by Airbus A380 (5 weekly flights) and by Boeing 777-300 (2 weekly flights). The Company is also increasing capacity to Seoul (South Korea), serving this destination by Boeing 777-300 with 383 seats as well as to Singapore, with three additional flights operated during the peak summer period. Air France is continuing to serve Tokyo-Haneda Airport (Japan) up to 13 times a week in addition to the daily flight to Tokyo-Narita which provides connections to Noumea (New Caledonia).

The Group is also continuing to strengthen its cooperation with its Asian partners to offer an even wider choice of flights and destinations. In particular, KLM and Garuda Indonesia have set up a code-share agreement on both airlines’ flights between Amsterdam and Jakarta (Indonesia). KLM has also signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese airline Xiamen Airlines, illustrating their commitment to strengthening accessibility between the Netherlands and China.

Africa and the Indian Ocean

As a continuation of the winter season, Air France will serve Abidjan (Ivory Coast) daily, including 3 weekly flights by Airbus A380. The Company is also increasing capacity to Dakar (Senegal), by operating the route from Paris-Charles de Gaulle by Boeing 777-300 with 383 seats.

In East Africa, KLM is continuing to specifically adjust its network to market expectations by increasing capacity to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Entebbe (Uganda). Both destinations are served non-stop three times a week from Amsterdam-Schiphol, providing new connecting opportunities to Europe and North America in particular. On the other days these destinations are offered respectively as a continuation of the services to Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Kigali (Rwanda). KLM is also strengthening its cooperation with its partner Kenya Airways by offering new connections to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean, as a continuation of the service to Nairobi airport which boasts new airport facilities.

In the Indian Ocean, Air France serves Reunion Island up to 11 times per week, including 5 night flights.

Middle East

Air France’s new BEST cabins have been flying to Dubai (UAE) since February 23, 2015. In September 2015, these cabins will also be available to Beirut (Lebanon). Furthermore, the Group maintains its code-share agreements with Middle East Airlines, Saudia and Etihad.

New long-haul products and services

Air France-KLM is continuing to roll out new products and services aiming to be among the best in the world.

By the end of the 2015 summer season, the new Air France BEST cabins will equip 20 aircraft and fly to 18 long-haul destinations:

North America: Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Washington;
South America: Sao Paulo;
Africa: Bangui, Douala, Libreville, Malabo, Yaoundé;
Middle East: Beirut, Dubai;
Asia: Beijing, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo-Haneda.

On its BEST fleet (Boeing 777-200 and 777-300), Air France is adapting to customer demand during the peak summer period (from mid-July to the end of August) by adjusting in just ten hours the seating configuration of its aircraft. This ‘quick change’ can replace certain Business class seats with additional Economy seats. These additional seats correspond to the operation of the 3 additional Boeing 777-200 during the entire season.

Above Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) now wears the updated 2014 livery.

Furthermore, having renovated its World Business Class cabin on all its Boeing 747-400 (above), KLM is gradually equipping its Boeing 777-200 and then its 777-300 with its new World Business Class and Economy Class. At the end of 2016, 80% of KLM’s fleet will be equipped with fully renovated cabins.

MEDIUM-HAUL: -1.9%

For the 2015 summer season, the Group’s medium-haul capacity is continuing to readjust and is down by -1.9%.

On departure from the hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol

For the 2015 summer season, KLM is expanding its European network on departure from its hub at Amsterdam-Schiphol by adding three new destinations: Belfast (Northern Ireland), Krakow (Poland) and Montpellier (France). These new services will be operated from 18 May 2015 with one daily flight. Furthermore, the number of daily KLM flights to Florence and Basel is increasing from 3 to 4.

On departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Air France is adding a daily flight to Bordeaux (France), Naples (Italy), Billund (Denmark), Bucharest (Romania) and Budapest (Hungary). As of April 2015, the company will be introducing an upgraded product (greater flexibility for business trips, new gourmet attentions) as well as a new leather seat which will be progressively installed on board 24 Airbus A319s. This seat will subsequently equip 25 Airbus A320s during the first half of 2016.

On departure from Paris-Orly and the French regions

As from summer 2015, HOP! Air France is regrouping the entire short-haul network under a single commercial offer. This unified network includes all short-haul routes from Paris-Orly and the French regions. These routes are operated by Air France Airbus or HOP! regional aircraft.

Above Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Hop! For Air France ATR 42-500 F-GPYL (msn 542) taxies at Nantes, France.

HOP! Air France is continuing to restructure its network during summer 2015 –

On departure from Paris-Orly, HOP! Air France is rationalizing its offer to Toulouse, Strasbourg and Mulhouse by decreasing the number of frequencies while increasing the capacity of its aircraft.

On departure from the French regions, as a continuation of the adjustments initiated in the winter, HOP! Air France is suspending its international flights. However, to meet customer demand, certain destinations will still be operated during the summer holiday period, notably routes to Beirut and North Africa on departure from Marseille; Spain, Italy and Greece on departure from Toulouse; Tel Aviv and Athens on departure from Nice.

Transavia: +7.8%

As a continuation of the winter season, Transavia is continuing its rapid development in France (+30%) and is consolidating its operations in the Netherlands (-0.8%).

With the ambition to be the leading low-cost airline in terms of destinations from Paris-Orly in 2015, Transavia France is launching 10 new routes this summer:

– On departure from Paris-Orly: Valencia, Dublin, Munich, Thessaloniki, Tirana, Warsaw, Casablanca, Fez and Amsterdam.

– On departure from Nantes: Madrid.

Furthermore, the company is increasing frequencies on many routes including Barcelona, Madrid, Oporto and Lisbon.

Above Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Now painted in the old 2005 livery, Transavia’s (Netherlands) Boeing 737-7K2 PH-XRE (msn 30668) arrives in Las Palmas.

In the same way, Transavia Netherlands is concentrating its activity on the hub at Amsterdam-Schiphol, where it will offer new frequencies to Tel Aviv, Larnaca, Malta and Paris-Orly. The Company is also increasing its offer of flights to Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, Pisa, Naples and Thessaloniki.

Transavia Netherlands will also operate a new route from Rotterdam-The Hague to Berlin. On departure from Eindhoven, the service launched to Athens in February 2015 will continue this summer.

To accompany this rapid growth, Transavia has ordered 20 Boeing 737-800, with 17 firm orders and another three options. These aircraft will support the rapid growth of Transavia France and the development of Transavia Netherlands. The delivery of these aircraft will begin in January 2016 and will continue until 2018.

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Boeing 777-328 ER F-GZNE (msn 37432) in the SkyTeam alliance livery taxies to the runway at the Paris (CDG) hub.

Air France aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

KLM aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Transavia (Netherlands) aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Transavia (France) aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Hop! Air France aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Air France-KLM to defer 10 Boeing 777-300 ER deliveries as it issues its third profit warning in 6 months

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) have announced they are going to defer delivery of their combined 10 Boeing 777-300s on order due to its third profit warning in six months according to Reuters. This raises concerns for Boeing for a potential production gap for Boeing for the 777 production line until the new 777X enters production.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile Air France-KLM issued this statement:

During its meeting on December 18, 2014, the Air France-KLM Board of Directors reviewed the updated financial outlook for the fourth quarter 2014.

The Group is revising down its 2014 EBITDA target by an additional €200 million compared with the targets communicated on July 8 and October 8. There are four factors behind this revision:

The persistent weakness in unit revenues in several long-haul markets, witnessed since the summer and still prevailing in early December.

The updating of the estimated impact of the Air France pilots’ strike on the fourth quarter including, in particular, a higher-than-expected re-invoicing charge for passenger transportation by other airlines during the strike (‘interline’ invoicing).

Due to new fiscal regulations, the group will not recognize in its 2014 EBITDA a positive pension cost adjustment that was previously expected. Any potential adjustment will be booked under ‘other non-current income and expenses’.

A limited fuel price effect in the fourth quarter, in view of the continued decline in the crude oil price which has fallen by more than that of jet fuel, of the structure of the procurement contracts and of the fuel hedging portfolio.

As announced in the third quarter results press release, with no impact on the principles of the Perform 2020 plan, the Group has decided to revise its 2015 and 2016 business plans to take into account the consequences of the pilots’ strike and of the weaker unit revenue trend that has developed since the summer. The Group is thus planning further unit cost* reduction measures and a significant scale back in its investment plan.

Air France-KLM’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre de Juniac, made the following comments: “The Perform 2020 dynamic is under way across all the Group’s activities, based on the imperatives of an ongoing improvement in competitiveness and strict financial discipline. By significantly stepping up our cost-cutting efforts and adapting the investment plan, Air France-KLM can gain the resources and be well prepared to tackle 2015 despite the difficult competitive environment.”

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Boeing 777-328 ER F-GZNI (msn 39973) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Air France aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

KLM aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. KLM’s Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVC (msn 37582) departs from Paine Field.

Air France expects to cancel 60% of its flights tomorrow due to a pilots strike

Air France (Paris) has issued this statement in anticipation of a strike by its pilots tomorrow (September 16):

Air France expects to operate 40% of its flights on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, given an estimated 60% of pilots planning to strike.

The flight schedule is updated 24 hours in advance.

Air France asks its customers to check that their flight is operating before going to the airport.

7,000 Air France employees are doing all they can to assist customers.

Air France once again recommends its customers with a flight reservation between September 15-22 to postpone their trip or change their ticket at no extra cost.

Air France regrets this situation and is making every effort to minimize the inconvenience this may cause to its customers. Close to 600,000 texts and messages have been sent to inform customers due to travel on Tuesday individually and in real time.

If the strike action continues beyond September 16, the flight schedule will be adjusted accordingly. Customers will be informed of the potential impact the day before departure. However there may be other disruption and delays.

Meanwhile partner KLM Royal Dutch Airlines issued this short statement:

This is the result of a dispute between Air France and the French pilots’ union about terms relating to Transavia. French pilots who are transferring to Transavia demand the same terms of employment as pilots at Air France. The strike is – as communicated – expected to last from Monday, September 15 to Monday, September 22.

The Air France pilots’ strike will not affect the KLM operation. A rebooking policy is in effect. Customers who are affected by the strike will be rebooked free of charge.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-328 ER F-GZNC (msn 35542) approaches the runway at JFK International Airport in New York.

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Air France unveils its Boeing 777-300 La Première suite in Shanghai

Air France (Paris) yesterday (May 7) in Shanghai, unveiled its new La Première suite. This is the next stage of its vast project to move upmarket with its long-haul ‘Best and Beyond’ product, the La Première suite will progressively be equip on its 19 Boeing 777-300s from September 2014.

Air France 777-300 Suite (Air France)(LRW)

Air France’s new La Première, a designer suite:

MORE THAN JUST A SEAT, A PRIVATE SUITE

The new La Première cabin, a veritable jewel, now has four exclusive individual suites on board Air France’s long-haul Boeing 777-300. On board, each suite ensures optimum privacy and enables customers to be totally or partially alone, in absolute comfort.

Well-being, relaxation and serenity go hand in hand, for an exceptional trip. Once on board, the La Première guest will immediately feel at home. The large seat adapts to any morphology and promotes rest and relaxation. Each guest has a personal 24-inch (61 cm) HD touch screen, one of the largest ever seen on board.

Air France 777-300 Suite Bed (Air France)(LRW)
A BED WORTHY OF THE GREATEST HOTELS

Like spending a night in a palace, sleeping in one of our La Première suites is a completely exclusive experience. In an instant, the seat turns into a fully-flat bed over two metres long. The armrests are fully retractable and offer a vast space 77 cm wide.

When the passenger is ready to go to sleep, the crew members install a mattress on the seat, for impeccable comfort. They are then given a fluffy pillow and a Sofitel My Bed® duvet. The pillow is placed in a soft cotton pillowcase for ultimate softness, guaranteeing a perfect night’s sleep.

Air France 777-300 Seat-Eating (Air France)(LRW)
AN OPEN OR TOTALLY PRIVATE SUITE, THE LUXURY OF DECIDING YOURSELF

Air France dresses each suite with thick curtains, held back with leather tiebacks. A unique and daring concept, they enable the passenger to decide whether to be totally isolated or just partially. Once the curtains are closed, the passenger has the feeling of being alone at home, totally enclosed in their private cabin. The La Première suite then becomes a vast, totally private space, with 3 square metres available for each guest.

The suite can also be enjoyed with a fellow passenger. Opposite the seat, a comfortable seat, an ottoman, enables the passenger to invite a guest for dinner or simply for a conversation. The suite in turn then becomes a drawing room, a restaurant, or a work area. Anything goes in this space which changes according to the passenger’s desires.

A DESIGNER SPIRIT

Air France embodies French elegance, expressed by its choice of textures and materials, continually guided by an obsession for absolute comfort.

The “leather-effect” cabin walls provide a cosy atmosphere. The high-quality leather can also be found on the headrests and armrests. A thick, soft woven tweed fabric covers the seat, providing a touch of elegance to the ensemble. The various storage compartments are padded with suede. With its stitching, touches of wood and metal, la suite represents the utmost in sophistication, down to the slightest details.

“Our new La Première suite, from among all our new products and services, is the one that best represents our commitment to service excellence and a French travel experience. It illustrates our intention to recover and our global ambition.” declared Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and CEO of Air France.

AT A GLANCE

Designed for Air France by the manufacturer B/E Aerospace, the new La Première suite is the only one of its kind in the world. Its unique design has been specially created by designer Priestmangoode and design and branding agency, Brandimage.

· 76 seats equipping 19 Boeing 777-300
· An exclusive cabin with 4 suites
· A unique concept, with each suite featuring adjustable curtains
· A suite designed with top-of-the-range materials – leather, woven fabrics, suede, etc.
· A spacious, ergonomically-designed seat, with integrated lumbar support
· Direct access to the central aisle
· A large fully-flat bed
· A sleek console with integrated storage compartments
· A large table and an ottoman for inviting a guest during the trip
· A mobile partition and adjustable curtains, allowing each guest to choose their preferred level of privacy
· A plaid and “boudoir” cushion available as soon as the guest boards
· A mattress, cushion and warm duvet for optimum sleeping comfort
· A private wardrobe
· A 24-inch High Definition screen and touch remote
· The window blinds close at the flick of a switch
· Accessories to make the guest feel at home; bedside lamp, pillow, plaid, etc.

KEY DIMENSIONS

· Bed length: 2.01 m
· Bed width: 77 cm
· Width of the seat: 57 cm
· Total length of the suite: 2.30 m
· Total surface area: 3 square metres
“AIR FRANCE, FRANCE IS IN THE AIR”

To unveil its new La Première suite, as well as its new travel concept and all the new cabins it has recently revealed, Air France has created a unique event with three international exhibitions in Shanghai, New York and Paris in May, June and September 2014.

These exhibitions, which are open free to the public, have been designed as a journey. Real and virtual experiences are combined so that everyone can experience Air France’s new world with interactive animations.

Rendezvous in Paris (Air France)

Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Air France). Boeing 777-328 ER F-GSQD (msn 32726) taxies at the Paris (Charles de Gaulle) hub.

Air France:

Video:

Air France will add Lima and Orlando in June 2011

Air France (Paris) will add Lima and Orlando from Paris (CDG) starting in June 2011 with Boeing 777-300 ERs.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 777-328 ER F-GSQD (msn 32726) prepares to land at Singapore.

Air France’s new 777-328 ER F-GZNE

 

F-GZNE arrives at Singapore on probably its first revenue flight.  Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee (K.C.) Sim.

F-GZNE arrives at Singapore on probably its first revenue flight. Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee (K.C.) Sim.

Air France (Paris) took delivery of the SkyTeam decorated Boeing 777-328 ER F-GZNE (msn 37432) on June 10.