Air France's new strategy: focus on premium segment

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Old Jan 28, 19, 11:12 pm
  #31  
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Oh my. Just when you thought that there would be some peace and quiet - no strikes, no referendum, no lynching of executives, no lunatic demands for pay increases/working conditions - then another battlefront opens up. Indeed, relations between KLM and the parent company have always been strained, but so far they were not the reason for tensions in the group, at least not the principal reason.

A group CEO wanting to get rid of a business unit CEO is something very common. There is an art in making that happen, adapting the tactics and communication employed to the situation and the person. Let's see if Ben Smith masters that art. He didn't have to deal with a problem of that caliber so far.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 2:25 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Oh my. Just when you thought that there would be some peace and quiet - no strikes, no referendum, no lynching of executives, no lunatic demands for pay increases/working conditions - then another battlefront opens up. Indeed, relations between KLM and the parent company have always been strained, but so far they were not the reason for tensions in the group, at least not the principal reason.

A group CEO wanting to get rid of a business unit CEO is something very common. There is an art in making that happen, adapting the tactics and communication employed to the situation and the person. Let's see if Ben Smith masters that art. He didn't have to deal with a problem of that caliber so far.
KL relation towards AF is very unhealthy. It makes no doubt that KL is a performing airline and has dramatically improved over the last decade. But KL has also greatly benefited of the merger 15 years ago. At that time, it was a secondary european airline struggling with losses (unlike AF in these years). Thanks to the merger, they benefited from an important cash injection and from AF much strong commercial strength and network (and still benefit from it nowadays).

Now AF really has to improve its efficiency and costs, but KL acting as if AF is a burden and they'd be much better on their own is so wrong in my opinion and very counterproductive.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
On the other hand, journalists like to write provocative articles that blow some signals out of proportion.
Exactly this, with even a rather clueless in-house 'aviation expert' at the Netherlands' biggest paper Telegraaf telling in a video interview on the newspaper's website even saying they want to take KLM's status as premium airline away and making something of a long-haul Transavia out of it. Utter BS.

The Dutch like to point the finger at the French when it comes to their arrogance and protectionism (at times rightly so) - but they should definitely look into the mirror on this as the Dutch pride towards their national airline is nothing less. On the contrary, some actually do believe from the bottom of the heart that the only premium company in the skies is KLM and that flying any other airline is like stepping back into the Third World

I take 99% of anything I read about it in the papers with a pinch of salt.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 1:54 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Romanianflyer View Post
some actually do believe from the bottom of the heart that the only premium company in the skies is KLM and that flying any other airline is like stepping back into the Third World.
True. KLM has been an object of Dutch pride for almost a century. "Het blauwe gevoel" is part of their collective national identity. Waarin een klein land al niet groot kan zijn, that kind of thinking.


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Old Jan 29, 19, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
True. KLM has been an object of Dutch pride for almost a century. "Het blauwe gevoel" is part of their collective national identity. Waarin een klein land al niet groot kan zijn, that kind of thinking.
Dutch political scientist Arend Lijphard wrote already four decades ago that the three symbols keeping The Netherlands together were KLM, the waterwarks, and the monarchy. And when the Dutch negotiated the landing rights in the US, the transport minister wrote to J.F.Dulles that “after the loss of our colonies KLM is one of the tools we have to lift us above the possibilities of a small nation.”

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Old Jan 29, 19, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
True but it is also true that ORD is a joint OW-*A fortress, with AA and UA both having a hub there. This may conceivably make it a particularly difficult market for ST and therefore might explain that they do not particularly feel like investing on ORD routes if all they are getting are OW and *A leftovers.

There are up to 6 AA/BA flights a day between LHR and ORD and up to 7 UA/LH flights between FRA+MUC and ORD (not counting the flights on other alliance OW/*A airlines, such as IB, LX, SK, etc...). This does not leave a huge amount of room for AF/KL/DL to CDG/AMS.
The AA side of that ‘fortress’ is looking more creaky as of late...and consider that LHR has physical limits in BA onwards connections/flights due to, well, LHR. There are lots of O/D CHI pax that might be open to TATL alternatives as of late - especially vs. AA IMHO.

I probably should have added that based on scheduling KL is going up to a 772 from the 74 Combi in April ORD-AMS. 3 less J seats now on the route...but more Y seats I suspect.

Last edited by CoMooter; Jan 29, 19 at 9:00 pm
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Old Jan 30, 19, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by CoMooter View Post


The AA side of that ‘fortress’ is looking more creaky as of late...and consider that LHR has physical limits in BA onwards connections/flights due to, well, LHR. There are lots of O/D CHI pax that might be open to TATL alternatives as of late - especially vs. AA IMHO.

I probably should have added that based on scheduling KL is going up to a 772 from the 74 Combi in April ORD-AMS. 3 less J seats now on the route...but more Y seats I suspect.
Could you explain what is creaky with AA?
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Old Jan 30, 19, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by Romanianflyer View Post
Exactly this, with even a rather clueless in-house 'aviation expert' at the Netherlands' biggest paper Telegraaf telling in a video interview on the newspaper's website even saying they want to take KLM's status as premium airline away and making something of a long-haul Transavia out of it. Utter BS.

The Dutch like to point the finger at the French when it comes to their arrogance and protectionism (at times rightly so) - but they should definitely look into the mirror on this as the Dutch pride towards their national airline is nothing less. On the contrary, some actually do believe from the bottom of the heart that the only premium company in the skies is KLM and that flying any other airline is like stepping back into the Third World

I take 99% of anything I read about it in the papers with a pinch of salt.
And IMHO especially with THAT paper!
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Old Jan 30, 19, 8:07 am
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In every issue, Dutch aviation monthly Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine publishes an interview with a frequent business flyer. They are usually quite amusing. Many of these "frequent" flyers don't fly that frequently at all ("I take 6/8/12 flights a year, and I have a Silver/Gold card!"). When asked what their favorite airline is, the response is almost always gushing praise for KLM.

Luchtvaartnieuws is currently looking for frequent travelers to interview, if anybody is interested in lauding KLM some more.

Johan (With apologies for going somewhat OT)
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Old Jan 30, 19, 1:47 pm
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I'd do it just to see if it goes to print, but I guess they'd want me to actually speak Dutch.
They would be in for a few surprises I guess.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Could you explain what is creaky with AA?
AA route changes announced 21 Aug 2018, inc cutting ORD-PVG

Plenty of other threads on this subject over the last year - too lazy to look them up - but AA mainline out of ORD to international destinations is getting a bit sparse as of late except for LHR...Mr. Parker appears to not like competition and prefers gouging the fine citizens of DFW, CLT and PHL...but we are getting ORD-ATH in the summer!

Are they going away - no. Are they ceding ground internationally for CHI O/D. My answer - yes.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by CoMooter View Post


AA route changes announced 21 Aug 2018, inc cutting ORD-PVG

Plenty of other threads on this subject over the last year - too lazy to look them up - but AA mainline out of ORD to international destinations is getting a bit sparse as of late except for LHR...Mr. Parker appears to not like competition and prefers gouging the fine citizens of DFW, CLT and PHL...but we are getting ORD-ATH in the summer!

Are they going away - no. Are they ceding ground internationally for CHI O/D. My answer - yes.
Thanks.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Thanks.
No worries! And, adding to ‘opportunities’ for others I probably should have also added that AA is doing a great job of driving many of their long term customers away (including this one) as of late - but this is not an issue limited just to Chicago...
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Old Jan 31, 19, 3:29 am
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Originally Posted by CoMooter View Post
The AA side of that ‘fortress’ is looking more creaky as of late...and consider that LHR has physical limits in BA onwards connections/flights due to, well, LHR.
Creaky or not, it still is a route with hubs by major OW airlines at both ends, which generates a level of traffic on a completely different scale to what AFKL could hope to achieve even in the most optimistic circumstances. At the height of the summer season, there are 19 direct *A flights to Europe from ORD and 13 OW ones. ST does not have a hope in hell of competing with that and ORD is bound to be a limited market for AFKL, where they can expect little beyond their core customer base, I would have thought.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
No you're not, I'm right there with you. I have chosen AF for longhaul in the past because I know the Y product is better. And I've been glad I did so.

I don't think they will go BoB, it's just not in their DNA. I think it will be a question of reducing other services, such as champagne (which is available in Y on AF), meal quality, magazines and papers which still seem to be available to all.
I will also gladly fly Y in AF over any other European based carrier, almost regardless of connection-hazzle. I find the Y product above par in so many ways. Especially as Elite, when you get dicounted or free seat plus and get some OK food in a lounge in CDG before your flight - or shower in the lounges in 2F after a redeye long haul.

And I actually enjoy not being online for a while, so wifi is rarely a necesity for me.
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