Tag Archives: Nantes

Air France’s pilots: the strike will continue, Air France: we will speed up the development of Transavia France

Air France (Paris) is still reeling from a week-long strike by its pilots. The flag carrier has only been able to fly a small portion of its flights due to the on-going strike. Today (September 22) the pilot’s union rejected the latest offer by management to end the strike.

Air France announced today it expects to operate 42 percent of its flights tomorrow (September 23) as the strike continue.

Today Air France also announced it will speed up the development of the lower-cost Transavia France (Paris) with this announcement:

The pilots’ strike has been disrupting flight operations for seven days now, with catastrophic consequences for the Company’s customers, staff and financial situation. Alexandre de Juniac and Frédéric Gagey wish once again to thank all staff who have rallied round in France and around the world to support and assist customers in this unprecedented situation. The Company wishes once again to present its sincere apologies to its customers.

This strike generates an operating loss of up to 20 million euros per day, plus customer compensations and the impact of the gradual recovery in traffic in the days following the return to normal operations. Once the dispute is over, the Group will update its EBITDA target for the 2014 financial year.

Negotiations with the pilot unions, notably the SNPL, have taken place daily. Since the beginning of the strike action, Alexandre de Juniac and Frédéric Gagey have spent over 40 hours in meetings with pilot representatives. Every day, they have been submitting new constructive proposals to resolve this conflict. On their part, the pilot unions have not put forward any proposal demonstrating their willingness to find a solution.

Management can only note that talks have reached a deadlock situation.

Management also wishes to reassert that Air France-KLM’s development on the low-cost market in Europe is both strategic and urgent for the Group’s future, given that this market is fast-expanding and our competitors have adopted particularly offensive strategies on the French market.

The ambition set out in the Perform 2020 growth and competitiveness plan remains intact. The pilot unions have stigmatized the Transavia project by fuelling unfounded fears of “delocalization” and “social dumping”, which have never been at stake. Management regrets these mistaken interpretations, but has taken note of the concerns expressed.

Alexandre de Juniac, Frédéric Gagey and the managerial teams have since taken the following measures:

Postponing the plan to create Transavia subsidiaries in Europe (outside France and the Netherlands), while entering into extended talks about the project and building together the necessary guarantees by the end of the year.

A comprehensive negotiation and explanatory process with Air France and KLM unions will be set up. As for Air France, this process will begin as soon as the next Central Works Council meeting takes place, scheduled for September 25, 2014.
FASTER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRANSAVIA PROJECT IN FRANCE

The expansion of Transavia in France is vital for Air France, notably in order to defend the Group’s position at Orly Airport, as highlighted by the experts’ report published in July 2014 and supported by the SNPL. It is now urgent to implement this plan.

The project was presented to the unions of each staff category over a year ago, but was not finalized within the framework of the talks underway. The pilot unions’ demand to use, on the Transavia network, Air France pilots employed under Air France conditions and to replace the existing 44 Boeing 737s by Airbus A320s, would inevitably lead Transavia France to failure. The compromise solutions proposed by management have all been rejected.

In these conditions, if the pilot organizations do not agree to the economic and social terms and conditions of the project put forward, Management will be forced to begin the formal procedure for denouncing the agreement to create Transavia France (signed in 2007). This agreement currently restricts the development of Transavia France; its withdrawal will make it possible to implement the project more quickly.

The aim is to rapidly equip Transavia in France with additional aircraft beyond the 14 currently in the fleet. It should be remembered that this project included the creation of a thousand jobs over the next 5 years, including 250 jobs for French pilots. It will now be possible to hire staff faster. The project will, as expected, be primarily open to Air France pilots on a voluntary basis.

Moreover, Management confirms that the development of Transavia in France is not intended to impact Point to Point activity on the French domestic network. Transavia will not feed the Air France hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

“To remain in the race in Europe, we have no alternative than to rapidly expand Transavia. We are now taking every measure to explain and accelerate its growth out of France. The Air France-KLM Group is reaffirming its aim of reaching a fleet of more than 100 Transavia aircraft by 2017,” said Alexandre de Juniac. Frédéric Gagey continued: “These decisions must enable us to restore calm within the company and end the strike that has lasted too long for Air France, its customers and its staff.”

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Operations at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) will remain under the Air France brand but flights to Orly Airport will increasing be under the Transavia brand. With the expedited expansion of Transavia France the subsidiary is likely to get a new look. Airbus A319-111 F-GRHV (msn 1505) taxies at Nantes.

Air France: AG Slide Show

Transavia France: AG Slide Show

Current routes from Paris (Orly) by Transavia France:

Transavia France 9.2014 Route Map

Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8K2 F-GZHC (msn 29651) wears the 2005 livery of the Dutch version of the original Transavia Airlines.

 

Ryanair to launch three new routes to and from Scotland on October 26

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced significant growth for Scotland with three new routes between Edinburgh and London (Stansted), Glasgow and London (Stansted) and Glasgow and Dublin (three times daily), as well as a new base at Glasgow International (Ryanair’s 69th in total).

Ryanair’s existing once daily flight from Glasgow Prestwick to Dublin will now switch to Glasgow International as part of an expanded three times daily business service between Glasgow and Dublin. Despite this switch Ryanair remains committed to its long standing base at Prestwick where the airline has a major maintenance facility and is currently in discussions with Glasgow Prestwick and the Scottish Government, its new owners, to explore growth opportunities to/from Prestwick Airport.

From October 26, 2014, Ryanair will base three Boeing 737-800s at Edinburgh, one at Glasgow (International) and one at Glagow (Prestwick).

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLB (msn 33584) taxies at Nantes.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

CityJet to launch new routes from Cambridge to Amsterdam and Dublin

CityJet (Dublin) has announced it will be adding two more routes to its network this year, with flights launching from Cambridge International Airport to Dublin and Amsterdam.

Operated with 50-seat Fokker 50 aircraft, flights will start on May 12. The route to Dublin will operate twice-daily during the week, and daily at weekends. The Amsterdam route will also operate twice-daily, during the week, and daily at weekends,

CityJet already launched four new routes out of Cardiff Airport this year, with routes to Paris-Orly and Glasgow starting in January, followed by the Edinburgh route which launched on March 30 and Jersey on April 17.

In other news, Intro Aviation completed its acquisition of CityJet and VLM Airlines on April 30, 2014. One change being dictated by the new owner is VLM will operate charter flights under its own name.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The VLM Airlines Fokker 50s are currently operated under the CityJet brand but this may change under the new owners. Fokker F.27 Mk. 050 OO-VLZ (msn 20264) taxies at Nantes.

CityJet (Ireland): AG Slide Show

CityJet (VLM Airlines): AG Slide Show

Ryanair to open two new bases in Greece

Ryanair (Dublin) today (January 14) announced that as part of a $280 million investment in Greece it would open its second and third Greek bases (64 in total) at Athens and Thessaloniki in April 2014 with a total of three based aircraft and nine new routes.
Ryanair’s new Athens base from April 2014 will deliver:
·2 based aircraft
·6 new routes to Chania, London, Milan, Paphos, Rhodes & Thessaloniki
·154 weekly flights
·Over 1.2m new passengers p.a. at Athens
·Over 1,200* jobs sustained at Athens
Ryanair will grow at Thessaloniki as follows:
·1 based aircraft
·3 new routes: Athens, Pisa & Warsaw (16 in total)
·212 weekly flights
·Over 1.6m pax p.a
·Over 1,600* “on site” jobs
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DYX (msn 37517) with Comunitat Valenciana promotional markings climbs away from Nantes.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Aegean Airlines signs a code-share agreement with Etihad Airways, will launch service to Abu Dhabi

Aegean Airlines (Athens) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have signed a code-share agreement.

As a result, Aegean Airlines will commence four flights a week service between Athens and Abu Dhabi starting on March 30, 2014 and, subject to regulatory approvals, Etihad Airways will place its EY flight code on the new flight.  Aegean Airlines will operate its new Athens-Abu Dhabi service with a 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.

Beyond Athens, Etihad Airways will also place its flight code on Aegean-operated flights to 16 Greek destinations, and to a further 10 cities across Europe.

In other route news, Aegean will restore a route to Hamburg starting on May 27. The route will be operated three days a week.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Aegean Airlines’ Airbus A320-232 SX-DGD (msn 4065) with the promotional visitgreece.com sub-titles taxies past the camera at Nantes, France.

Aegean Airlines:AG Slide Show

Czech Airlines to get another new airline partner: Travel Service Airlines

Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) and partner Korean Air (Seoul) have announced Korean Air has exercised its option and brought in another equity partner. Travel Service Airlines (Prague) is acquiring a 34 percent share in Czech Airlines. Korean Air retains its 44 percent share.

The airlines issued this statement:

Czech Aeroholding has been informed by Korean Air about its requirement to use option to exercise its right to purchase further 34% of Czech Airline stock from Czech Aeroholding. This step is in accordance with the purchase contract on the sale of 44% of Czech Airline stock signed by Korean Air and Czech Aeroholding in April this year. Korean Air will subsequently sell 34% stake to Travel Service, an air carrier, which will thus become a co-shareholder of Czech Airlines thus joining Korean Air which holds 44% of shares, Czech Aeroholding with the final share of 19.74% and Ceska Pojistovna which will continue to hold its 2.26% share in Czech Airlines.

Korean Air explains the decision to exercise its option on further 34% of the Czech Airlines shares which is to be subsequently sold to Travel Service by its plan to reinforce its operations in Europe. Working together with Travel Service, the company wishes to make Vaclav Havel Airport Prague its European hub. The entry of Travel Service into Czech Airlines will provide Korean Air with connections to approximately 40 new destinations in Europe to which their passengers will be able to fly after their transfer at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague.

As early as in spring of this year, Korean Air purchased 44% of Czech Airlines shares from Czech Aeroholding which it will continue to hold. Now it wishes to use the Czech Airlines platform to collaborate with Travel Service. With regard to the fact that Travel Service, the new shareholder, is a Czech air carrier, Czech Airlines will not lose the status of the so called national carrier.

We regard the development of Vaclav Havel Airport Prague aiming to make it a Central-European hub as absolutely crucial. The fact that Korean Air is bringing another key partner into Czech Airlines represents a step toward fulfilling this aim. I am convinced this partnership will be advantageous particularly for passengers who, in future, will be able to choose from a more quality product – a wide network of destinations – provided by the three carriers,” said Miroslav Dvorak, chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Czech Aeroholding.

In spite of the fact that the contractual documentation might be signed as promptly as possible, it will surely include suspensory conditions. This is because the entire transaction is first subject to approval by the competent antitrust authorities, which may take several months before it can take effect.

In the context of changes of the Czech Airlines shareholder structure, Philippe Moreels, the current President and Chairman of the Board, announced its intention to resign from both positions. “I welcome the entry of Travel Service into Czech Airlines and also perceive it as the culmination of the company’s intensive four year restructuring period. In this new phase, Czech Airlines is going to need some new blood and a change in its management style. Therefore, it is logical that all the shareholders will agree on a new company president after the transaction has been completed. Until then, I will continue to be available and will be working on all the steps necessary allowing the transaction to bring a synergy effect to allthe partners as soon as possible,” said Philippe Moreels about his intention to resign from both his positions after the transaction has been approved by antitrust authorities.

After the transaction has been approved by antitrust authorities, the Czech Airlines statutory bodies will continue to consist of three members and their composition will reflect the new shareholder structure of the company.

Top Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 OK-NEM (msn 3406) of Czech Airlines arrives in Amsterdam with the special 90 Years (1923-2013) logo.

Czech Airlines-CSA: AG Slide Show

Travel Service Airlines: AG Slide Show

Korean Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Travel Service Airlines’ (Czech Republic) Boeing 737-8CX OK-TVB (msn 32362) prepares to land in Nantes, France.

 

Vueling Airlines announces a new base in Rome, can Alitalia survive?

Vueling Airlines (Vueling.com) (Barcelona) is expanding operations in Italy (especially Rome).

The company will launch a new Rome (Fiumicino) base next summer season starting on April 2, 2014. Vueling will launch 22 new routes from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport throughout the summer. Vueling will  base eight Airbus aircraft at the airport. The new destinations from Rome include Alicante, Amsterdam, Athens, Bari, Berlin, Brindisi, Brussels, Catania, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Genoa, Lamezia Terme, Munich, Mykonos, Palermo, Prague, Rhodes, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Split, Thira (Santorini) and Turin.

Vueling is also adding new routes from Florence for the summer season.

Can Alitalia survive this new assault by lower cost Vueling and Ryanair?

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EC-HTC (msn 1540) prepares to land in Nantes.

Vueling Airlines: AG Slide Show