Tag Archives: Air France

Air France-KLM presents its go forward plan

Air France-KLM made this announcement:

Air France-KLM is organizing a presentation for investors. On this occasion, Benjamin Smith, Air France-KLM CEO, along with Pieter Elbers, KLM President and CEO, Anne Rigail, Air France CEO, and Frederic Gagey, Air France-KLM CFO, will outline the group’s strategic priorities and its financial trajectory over the next five years.


  •   Restore a dynamic of sustainable profitability based on a new value-focused model for the group’s primary stakeholders: employees, customers, and shareholders.
  •   A plan built around four main strategic priorities: optimising the operational model, refocusing passenger revenue growth around the most profitable segments, developing initiatives on customer data, the Flying Blue loyalty program, maintenance and cargo, and pragmatically analyzing consolidation opportunities. Each of these initiatives support the group’s goal to remain a leader in the sector’s ecological transition.
  •   Financial targets:

o Profit: Medium-term operating margin of 7-8%
o Cash: Medium-term positive adjusted Free Cash Flows
o Leverage:Netdebt/EBITDAratiocirca1.5x
o Shareholderreturns:Prospectsforreturningtodividenddistribution


“In a competitive and fast-transforming environment for European airlines, the Air France-KLM Group has all the assets to regain its leadership position”, said Benjamin Smith, CEO of the Air France-KLM Group. “Thanks to the dedication of our employees at Air France, KLM and Transavia, since the end of 2018 we have been able to establish the fundamentals of our go forward plan: simplifying our fleet, clarifying our brand and market positioning, and unlocking significant commercial and operational flexibility thanks to new labour agreements. This is the starting point of a strategy that will allow Air France-KLM to reinvent itself, creating value for all key stakeholders. We will optimize our operational model and increase revenues to significantly improve our operating margin. Everything we do will support our goal of remaining an industry pioneer as the airline group most committed to global environmental sustainability.”

The Air France-KLM Group has several unique assets: the strength of its three brands Air France, KLM and Transavia, its two hubs in Paris – the world’s leading inbound destination – and Amsterdam – the leading European connection hub and where the airline hub-and-spoke model was first invented, its extensive and highly complementary combined network, and its powerful commercial partnerships.

To fully leverage these assets, the Group must simplify and optimize its mode of operation and reposition itself to pursue the most profitable traffic.

At the end of 2018 work was started to lay the foundation for future success, and the next steps will revolve around four main strategic priorities, to be rolled out at each airline.

Optimize the Operating Model: Reduce Operating Costs and Increase Efficiency

  •   Managing fleet and product in a more flexible and optimal way
  •   Simplifying each airline’s internal processes
  •   Accelerating fleet renewal
  •   Implementing additional Group synergies
  •   Lobbying French authorities to create a more competitive airline business environment Refocus Growth of Passenger Revenue on Most Profitable Segments by Leveraging

    Hubs and Powerful Brand Identities

  •   Simplifying the brand portfolio around the three master brands: Air France, KLM, and Transavia, to better target relevant and most profitable market segments
  •   Optimizing the networks, each airline focusing on its unique expertise and core assets:

o For KLM, strengthen its leadership position at Schiphol while continuing to grow in

order to become the benchmark carrier for connecting traffic to and from Europe.
o For Air France, leverage its local market and premium strength, with Paris and France

being the world’s leading inbound destinations.
o For Air France and Transavia, strengthen their positions at Paris-Orly by better leveraging the slot portfolios at the slot-constrained airport.
o For Transavia, consolidate its leading low-cost position in The Netherlands and aim to become the leading low-cost airline in France in terms of number of based aircraft.
 More accurate targeting of customers for an increasingly personalized offer at a reduced cost of sale

At the same time, the group will continue to grow its other businesses and leverage Customer Data, Flying Blue, Cargo, and Engineering & Maintenance

  •   Leverage customer data as a major asset of the Group
  •   Accelerate development of Flying Blue, continuing 2018 program evolution
  •   Further develop Cargo contribution
  •   Position E&M on a profitable growth path, while contributing to airline operational


    The Air France-KLM Group will continue to pragmatically evaluate consolidation


 On the strength of its numerous successful global partnerships, Air France-KLM will pragmatically consider consolidation opportunities when and where they make sense, with a view to complementing and strengthening the Air France and KLM networks while maintaining strict financial discipline.

The Group’s strategic roadmap is an integral part of a global responsible and sustainable road to European leadership

  •   Air France-KLM will remain an industry pioneer in terms of sustainable aviation, notably by implementing an environmental and societal plan to 2030.
  •   From an environmental perspective, the three airlines have adopted important measures aimed at cutting their CO2 emissions per passenger by 50% by 2030, as well as promoting the emergence of sustainable fuels.

Air France increases capacity to Madrid with new departures from Paris Orly

From March 23, 2020, Air France will operate 12 new weekly flights to Madrid (Spain) on departure from Paris-Orly, i.e. up to two daily frequencies.

Flights will be operated in the morning and afternoon. In this way, Air France is offering more outbound and return flight options and increasing overall capacity to Madrid, with up to eight daily flights departing Paris (Orly and Roissy-Charles de Gaulle).

This offer, in addition to the flights operated by Transavia, strengthens the presence of the Air France-KLM Group in providing a more efficient response to its business and leisure customers’ requirements.


Flights to Madrid will be operated by Air France 12-times weekly by Airbus A318 with a capacity of 131 seats (10 in Business and 116 in Economy), in addition to the six daily flights operated on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

Flight schedules from Paris-Orly (in local time):


In total, Air France will offer 7 new routes throughout next summer –

– From Paris-Orly: Madrid (Spain);
– From Paris-Charles de Gaulle: Krakow (Poland), Faro (Portugal), Alicante, Malaga, Sevilla and Valencia (Spain).

Air France aircraft photo gallery:


China Eastern, Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM announce its intention to launch a joint venture

China Eastern Airlines made this announcement:

On October 16, 2019 China Eastern has announced its intention to enter into a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM, providing more valuable and attractive joint commercial propositions for customers between Europe and China.

China Eastern currently has joint venture with Air France and KLM by working together on a portfolio of flights between China and Paris, Amsterdam. With Virgin Atlantic joining the existing partnership between China Eastern, Air France and KLM, the enlarged cooperation will offer strengthened customer benefits including increased travel options and optimized connectivity across Europeand China,further facilitated by a developed joint network, as well as competitive joint commercial propositions.

The China to United Kingdom markets are expected to be pivotal at a time where China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic services linking Londonto Shanghai are part of the mutualized offer. China Eastern plans to seek to codeshare for the first time on Virgin Atlantic services between London and Shanghai. This will open up a range of customer benefits, including the opportunity for customers to earn and redeem miles across both carriers on flights between China and United Kingdom.

The announcement reaffirms China Eastern’s commitment to the European market, which will inject new vitality into her international development, network construction and service improvement and will also contribute to the  internationalization of China’s civil aviation and the Belt and Road Initiative.

China Eastern aircraft photo gallery:


Air France, KLM and China Eastern announce plans to step up joint venture cooperation with the addition of Virgin Atlantic

Air France, KLM, China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic have signed a MOU concerning the extension of the existing joint venture between Air France, KLM and China Eastern with the addition of Virgin Atlantic, thus providing customers with an increased choice of flights and itineraries when traveling between Europe and China. The announcement reaffirms the Air France-KLM Group’s commitment to the Chinese market, having already implemented an enlarged scope of cooperation with China Eastern in January this year.

Scheduled to enter into force in spring 2020, the cooperation will offer customers an increased number of flights and itineraries between Europe and China, further facilitated by mutual code-sharing, as well as competitive joint commercial propositions. The United Kingdom to Shanghai markets and the connecting flight network within China are expected to be pivotal at a time where China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic services linking London to Shanghai are part of the mutualized offer. It will open up a range of customer benefits when flying and connecting across carriers, including the opportunity for customers to earn and redeem miles.

Flight schedules

Air France, KLM and China Eastern’s current Joint Venture schedules (summer 2019 season):

  • Air France:
    • twice-daily frequencies between Paris – Charles de Gaulle and Shanghai – Pudong
    • 3-weekly frequencies (4-weekly in peak periods) between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Wuhan
  • KLM:   12-weekly frequencies between Amsterdam – Schiphol and Shanghai – Pudong
  • China Eastern:
    • twice-daily frequencies between Shanghai – Pudong and Paris – Charles de Gaulle
    • 4-weekly frequencies between Shanghai – Pudong and Amsterdam – Schiphol
    • 3-weekly frequencies between Kunming and Paris-Charles de Gaulle
    • 3-weekly frequencies between Qingdao and Paris-Charles de Gaulle

Services between London and Shanghai by Virgin Atlantic and China Eastern are intended to be included in the envisioned joint venture cooperation (summer 2019 season):

  • Virgin Atlantic daily services to Shanghai – Pudong from London – Heathrow
  • China Eastern daily services from Shanghai – Pudong to London Heathrow and 3-weekly frequencies to London – Gatwick


Air France to offset 100% of its CO2 emissions on domestic flights

Air France has made this announcement:

New voluntary objectives in Air France’s sustainability roadmap, centred around four major strategic areas –

  • Offsetting of 100% of CO2 emissions on all domestic flights* as of January 1, 2020;
  • Reduction in our CO2 emissions by 50% per passenger/km – a new objective for 2030;
  • Introduction of selective waste sorting on board Air France flights;
  • Investing in research for credible alternatives.

We must step up the transition to a more sustainable form of air transport and we are voluntarily making new commitments for today and 2030.
I have decided to introduce measures for offsetting 100% of the CO2 emissions generated by our domestic flights as of January 2020 to ensure all our customers have the possibility of carbon neutral flights throughout France”
explained Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France.
“We have set a new ambitious objective to reduce our CO2 emissions. We will reduce fuel consumption per passenger/km to less than 3 litres by 2030.
Air transport brings people together and promotes an openness to the world. Our ambition is to be a driving force for action and innovation in the creation of a sustainable aviation sector.”

For many years, Air France has been committed to reducing its environmental footprint and offers its customers a responsible travel experience, through concrete actions – modernizing its fleet, promoting eco-piloting, reducing the weight of on-board equipment on its aircraft, recycling waste, eliminating single-use plastic, and more.

Air France steps up its commitments

Air France has decided to offset 100% of CO2 emissions on all its domestic flights*. As of January 1, 2020, this compensation will take the form of participation in projects certified by recognized organizations. Business or leisure travellers, companies or employees of the Air France group will thus be able to travel throughout France* in a carbon-neutral way.

Air France will be one of the first airlines to offset the emissions generated by its domestic flights. Concretely, this represents on average over 450 flights per day and over 57,000 customers concerned.

Corporate customers will also be able to opt for voluntary compensation of up to 100% of the emissions generated by their short, medium and long-haul flights via a dedicated offer.

Air France has also decided to step up its commitments to reducing its CO2 emissions and is setting a new objective for 2030 – to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% per passenger/km compared to 2005, i.e., less than 3 litres of fuel consumption per passenger per 100km.

As from today, October 1st, Air France is introducing selective waste sorting on board its flights to Paris. This concerns –

plastic – bottles;
cartons: Tetra Pak packaging
aluminium – cans
glass –wine and Champagne bottles.

All these materials sorted by cabin crew are then handled by the service provider Servair at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly and recycled in France or Europe.

Air France has already decided to eliminate the use of single-use plastic items (cups, cutlery, stirrers, etc.) on board its aircraft from the end of 2019, i.e. 1,300 fewer tonnes of plastic per year.

Lastly, to develop solutions for a sustainable aviation sector, Air France is committed on a daily basis to investing in research and innovation for credible alternatives.

With the Solar Impulse Foundation, Air France plans to accelerate the adoption of economically and environmentally viable solutions in the aviation sector. They will notably reduce the impact of carbon emissions, waste and noise. These economically feasible solutions, some of which could be used by Air France and which will all be made available to the aviation industry, will contribute to building a more sustainable world.

Air France receives its first Airbus A350-900 named “Toulouse”

By Marco Finelli.

The first of Air France’s 28 new Airbus A350-900 was delivered to the French carrier on September 27.
The aircraft will gradually replace the older A340-300s and then progressively the other long-range aircraft of the previous generation.
This aircraft, as Benjamin Smith CEO Air France KLM pointed out, “will serve to operate all connections to the world of Air France from South America to Asia and from Africa to North America”.
Continued Smith, “All of our network airports can be served from Santiago de Chile to Singapore”.
Another novelty is the return of Air France to the tradition of naming its aircraft. This jet was given the name of “Toulouse”, in honor of the French city of flight.
The first commercial service will be on the Paris CDG – Abidjan route via Bamako on October 7. 
Service to Toronto will follow from October 27, 2019.

The aircraft with registration F-HTYA, was delivered at the end of a ceremony as used for new arrivals.

It is the first newcomer to the Air France fleet since the first Airbus A380-800 was delivered.

Hosting the ceremony its was Christopher Buckley – Airbus Commercial VP, Francois Obe – A350XWB Product Marketing Director. For Air France Benjamin Smith – Air France CEO – KLM and Anne Rigail, Air France CEO attended.

The press conference was opened by Benjamin Smith who declared that “Air France is the only airline in the world that had all the aircraft produced by Airbus since 1974,  from the A300, A310, A320, A330, A340 , A380 and now the A350, up to the next A220-300 ordered a few weeks ago with 60 planes and options “.

On the new Airbus A350s, Smith adds “is the forerunner for future aircraft that will make up the Air France fleet, more economical, flexible, modern and adapted to future market challenges “. Smith pointed  on the technology used “consumes 25% less energy than the previous generation, which allows better performances also linked to the power plant Rolls Royce Trent XWB-84 engines”. An engine with maximum thrust of 84200 pounds and 71400 continuous.

On the order of 28 aircraft, “This aircraft is now in the optimal configuration, but it is possible that in the coming years a batch of aircrafts may get more or less seats in Business Class depending on what the market will require . Not more than two configurations is the best with economies of scale in fleet management. We would also like to serve Sydney, but it has not yet been decided, even though the possibilities of economy of operation and size of the aircraft performances”.

A hint from Smith that the hippocampus has been on the engines from some time. It is the historical trademark for Air France, it has also been added to the rounded ends of the wings.

Anne Rigail has focused on the eco-sustainability of the A350’s performance “we will use more biofuels, the impact of noise footprint, CO2, consumption is lower from other aircraft in the fleet, 2.5L instead of the 3.3L of the fleet average”. The use of biofuel is growing, but the costs and their availability is the problem. They cost 2 or 3 times than  the traditional ones, we have no plants in France or the Netherlands, they will be in the future ”. About the plane he also said the interiors were chosen with the best products in terms of seats for passengers “Safran Optima for Business Class up to Recaro for the most technologically advanced product type at present. Same seats from the same supplier for the premium economy and economy. The amount of content on the IFE Safran RAVE system is over 1400 hours available to our customers with an excellent visual definition compared to the past “.

Christian Scherer for Airbus “We are happy that Air France continues to be our customer. They have been loyal customers since 1974 with the Caravelle. Our product is quieter, more comfortable in the cabin’s liveability and in the pressurization that allows passengers to enjoy the flight with more pleasure ”.

With the arrival of the A350-900s it is the exact leap of a generation over long-range jet engines compared to the current Airbus A330s in the fleet and to the A340-300s that this aircraft will start to replace.

A more modern aerodynamics, a lower noise impact thanks to a cleaner line, in addition to the Rolls Royce Trent XWB-84 engines. Less CO2 due to the aerodynamic mix and new engines, therefore less fuel consumption and therefore lower operating costs. Do not forget less rustling even for passengers, a more comfortable journey thanks to better climate control for a lower cabin share compared to other Airbus aircraft.

This A350-900s and next ones that will arrive can handle up to 324 seats in three classes. The leading is the Affaires, so the Business Class as it is called by Air France with 34 staggered 1-2-1 seats as abreast. It occupies the entire compartment between doors 1 and 2. The feeling at first sight is that the layout chosen by Air France is very intense and a bit crowded. The seats are very stuck and the seats are wide enough. In gray fabric with an elegant leather strap cover. It has a large touch screen for IFE. All the seats are angled towards the corridor. The product is the Safran Seats Optima.


After door 2 there is the small compartment of Premium economy then physically divided by the economic. It has 24 seats in three rows of 8 seats with the 2-4-2 abreast. The seats that have a good recline are very pleasant, as well as having both support for the legs and feet. A personal adjustable LED light spot is on left of the head rest. There is a lateral remote control, two buttons for the movement of the seat. Very large touch screen with excellent definition. Negative is still the sight of IFE supply boxes of discrete dimensions, placed on the sides of the armchair supports on the cabin floor.

In economy class 3-3-3 abreast that allows to have on board 266 places with a distance between the rows of 31 inches. Generously sized personal monitors are available for each traveller.

The entertainment system is the Zodiac RAVE – Reliable Affordable for Very Easy. It has over 1400 hours of different types of content. It is very fast and intuitive in the conception when searching for the desired proposals.

In flight the plane proves to be silent from the propulsion aspect and the lack of general aerodynamic noise. The noise made from flaps and slats at extension and extraction  remains noisy. The pressurization is pleasant, both in cruise and above all after completing the descent there are no annoying effects on the ears.

There is a discrete internal liveability, the overhead bins are generous and have a good integration in the very rounded design concept to obtain the effect of to be airy, the plane shape is right oval and the ceiling is very high from the seat level. The windows are at least 35% more bigger than in the past generation Airbus long haul jets. They still have a movable window blind system and not polarized as its available on Boeing Dreamliner.

On October 7, this plane will start flying on the Paris CDG – Abidjan route via Bamako. These flights will be usefull to the training issue of crews for the in-flight familiarization on the new aircraft, in addition to those conducted in Chateauroux and Toulouse started already the day after the delivery. Then it will be the turn of other destinations with the arrival of the next aircrafts. By October 27 it is the time to fly to Toronto, then towards Seoul and Cairo, both from December 9.
The launch on February 10, 2020 of the previously announced route to Mumbai has been canceled. In its place the A350s will be planned for Bangkok, but the first service start up date is not yet defined. Three planes will arrive this year and three in the next year. In 2021, another 11 aircraft will arrive, the remaining 13 between 2022 and 2025. The 28 planes envisaged by the order will also include the aircraft destined for KLM (7 ships), which were recently exchanged with the remaining 6 Boeing 787s. destined for Air France in version -9, which the Dutch will receive in version -10. Benjamin Smith said “we will not retire the 9 Boeing 787-9s and a tenth plane will arrive soon by March 2020”.


In the past Air France had plan to give some planes to Joon, but with the arrival of Benjamin Smith and the decision to give up to the new brand created in 2018 will not see them in Joon colors.


In the afternoon just before 4 pm the flight AF350V departed from Airbus Delivery Center with almost 280 passengers.The brand new jet liner headed to Paris CDG with a flight of just over an hour. On board the Air France management, the journalists and off-program compared to the other delivery flights made by other airlines, in economy class were on board a part of the staff of the French airline. Smith’s decision was apt in order to have even more a spirit of be part of the airline and belonging on the part of the workers who were able to appreciate and live the newcomer from another point of view which for many is absolutely unusual. On the top cruise at FL350 the aircraft proved to be excellent, maneuverability and stability was significantly positive. On arrival in Paris CDG a few minutes before 5pm the festivities continued with two water cannon and another party for passengers and people arrived at Paris to say welcome to the first A350s.
All photos by Marco Finelli.

Air France updates its fleet, order for 60 new Airbus A220-300s, will phase out the A380s

The Air France-KLM Board of Directors has approved several strategic decisions concerning the development of the Air France fleet, following a meeting on July 30, 2019.

These decisions reflect the Group’s focus on simplification. Making the fleet more competitive, by continuing its transformation with more modern, high-performance aircrafts with a significantly reduced environmental footprint is key to achieving leading industry margins.

  • Firm order for 60 A220-300s, with 30 options and 30 acquisition rights, which will gradually replace Air France’s A318 and A319 fleet
  • Retirement of the 10 A380s from the Air France fleet by 2022, and study of the replacement of A380s by new generation aircraft

Renewal of Air France’s short- and medium-haul fleet

Air France has committed to a firm order of the 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with an additional 30 purchase options and 30 acquisition rights. The first aircraft should be delivered in September 2021. They will join Air France’s short- and medium-haul fleet.

This aircraft will enable Air France to reduce its environmental footprint. The A220-300 generates 20% less CO2 emissions than the comparable aircraft in its class and is twice as quiet.

With a capacity of 150 seats and an operating range of 2,300 nautical miles, the A220-300 is perfectly suited to replace the A318 and A319 on the Air France short- and medium-haul network. This aircraft will allow the company to increase its competitiveness by reducing its cost per seat by more than 10% compared to the aircraft it will replace.

Finally, its entry into the Air France fleet will contribute to the continuous improvement of the customer experience, thanks to seats offering more space, larger cabin baggage storage compartments, wide aisles and WiFi on board.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.

Retirement of the A380s from the Air France fleet by 2022

The Air France-KLM Board of Directors today approved the retirement in principle of the remaining seven A380s from the Air France fleet by 2022, the phase out of three additional aircraft having been decided previously. Five of these aircraft are owned by the company, while two are leased.

The current competitive environment limits the markets in which the A380 can profitably operate. With four engines, the A380 consumes 20-25% more fuel per seat than new generation long-haul aircraft, and therefore emits more CO2. Increasing aircraft maintenance costs, as well as necessary cabin refurbishments to meet customer expectations reduce the economic attractiveness of Air France’s A380s even further. Keeping this aircraft in the fleet would involve significant costs, while the aircraft program was suspended by Airbus earlier in 2019.

The Air France KLM Group is studying possible replacement options for these aircrafts with a new generation aircraft currently on the market.

“These decisions support the Air France-KLM Group’s fleet competitiveness strategy,” said Benjamin Smith, CEO of the Air France-KLM Group. “They follow the recent orders for A350s and Boeing 787s that Air France and KLM have placed. We are very pleased to work with Airbus to add the A220-300 to our fleet, an aircraft that demonstrates optimum environmental, operational, and economic efficiency. The selection of the Airbus A220-300 supports our goal of a more sustainable operation, by significantly reducing CO2 and noise emissions. This aircraft will also provide our customers with additional comfort on the short- and medium-haul network and will provide our pilots with a connected cockpit with access to the latest navigation technology. This is a very important next step in Air France’s transformation, and this evolution in Air France’s fleet underlines the Group’s determination to attain European airline leadership.”

Air France-KLM operates a fleet of 541 aircrafts between its three main brands, Air France, KLM, and Transavia, to 318 destinations globally.  In 2018, AFKL flew over 100 million customers.

Airbus also released this statement:

The Air France–KLM Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 60 A220-300 aircraft to modernise its fleet. By acquiring the industry’s most efficient and technologically advanced single-aisle aircraft, the airline will benefit from a significant reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions. These A220s are intended to be operated by Air France.

“The acquisition of these brand new A220-300s aligns perfectly with Air France–KLM’s overall fleet modernisation and harmonisation strategy,” said Benjamin Smith, CEO of the Air France-KLM Group. “This aircraft demonstrates optimum operational and economic efficiency and enables us to further improve our environment footprint thanks to the A220’s low fuel consumption and reduced emissions. It is also perfectly adapted to our domestic and European network and will enable Air France to operate more efficiently on its short and medium-haul routes.”

“It is an honour for Airbus that Air France, a long-standing valued customer, has endorsed our latest family member, the A220, for its fleet renewal plans,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to supporting Air France with our A220 by bringing the latest technologies, efficiency levels, and environment benefits. We are delighted to embark on this partnership and we are looking forward to seeing the A220 flying in the Air France colours.”

The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and wide-body passenger comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. The A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft.

Air France currently operates a fleet of 144 Airbus aircraft.

With an order book of 551 aircraft as of end of June 2019, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100-to-150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.