Air France's strategic move away from Orly

Old Oct 23, 2023, 11:09 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by NickB
Yeah, that's the key. I would expect some TO service between NCE/TLS/MRS and ORY but I am not sure that it would necessarily be a service with the same frequency as AF.
Completely agree - but to be honest, even if AF had made some specific promise, I wouldn't believe it 3 years ahead of time and talking on behalf of a separate airline which is absolutely entitled to make its own decisions anyway. In fact, even if regional papers are correct, if, for instance, Transavia decide that they can't really compete with SNCF on ORY-MRS, I certainly wouldn't expect them to honour the promise AF may have made on their behalf.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 2:43 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by BA6948
The easiest way for AF is to add its codes to Transavia's flights (TO not HV) sort of what BA is doing with Vueling (or used to do). With the AF code, they could give dicounts, provide fast track and lounge access to their premium customers.
I agree, but AF doesn't want to do that. They want TO to be kept totally separated for AF, without any form of cooperation, code-share or whatever.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
I agree, but AF doesn't want to do that. They want TO to be kept totally separated for AF, without any form of cooperation, code-share or whatever.
Any form of close cooperation would be a cause for union action.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by brunos
Any form of close cooperation would be a cause for union action.
Isn't that insane, outrageous, scandalous?

AF pilots are a nuisance. They should have been dealt with long ago.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 11:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
I agree, but AF doesn't want to do that. They want TO to be kept totally separated for AF, without any form of cooperation, code-share or whatever.
I have to say I'm siding with AFKL (or more importantly with HV) on that one. In the past, AF have wanted to have a finger in the low cost pie and tell the low cost how to run, where to fly, dumping some routes on them they did not manage to keep profitable assuming the low cost would. This can only mean utter disasters.

If AFKL want to own a low cost airline, they should stay out of their operational and strategic choices and let them run as a low cost just like U2 or FR. My sense is that even bringing them into FB is nonsense and they shouldn't have, and that code sharing, through-booking etc would be yet a lot worse.

Ps: and to explain, sorry that I am sticking to HV in my posts - I'm perfectly aware that transavia france is supposed to be TO, but to me the supposed two separate airlines are just a corporate pirouette for internal operational purposes which is relevant to AF owners and not to me. i'm sticking to HV to refer to Transavia as a whole as I have exactly the same thoughts for its French and Dutch operations in exactly the same way I am sticking to U2 to design Easyjet globally without differentiating DS for Easyjet Switzerland, EC for Easyjet Europe and so on.
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 5:01 am
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Hmmm.... you sound very categorical about TO's positioning. Actually, the way I sounded some time ago as well about what it should NOT be. I am more nuanced today what it should be. Here are the options for AFKL:
  1. "Financial investor": TO runs as a standalone company with no operational integration into AFKL (or where it does so, they are treated like a third pary customer, e.g. for IT), TO takes its own decision on network, fleet, FFP, operations/HR. (The Vueling model)
  2. "Independent business unit within AFKL group" Run TO with limited shared operational activities (say in IT and procurement, to achieve synergies of scale), otherwise let them run their own shop and fly wherever they want, run their own decision on network, fleet, FFP, operations/HR
  3. "Low cost platform for AFKL group": TO run as its own business unit within AFKL, where they fly what makes sense for a standalone LCC + they are handed to try a certain type of destination/customer segment which makes more economic sense to be served by LCC rather than mainline. Integration of the FFP. Code-sharing or at least availability of TO flights on AFKL sales channels and vice-versa. Limited shared operations (IT, procurement, finance...). (The Eurowings model)
  4. "A department of AF" Let TO only grow as much as union contracts allow, let them not fly to destinations that AF mainline also flies to so as not to compete with mainline and take work away with them (The early incarnation of TO)
  5. "A different HR pool with lower cost, a slightly different brand to the outside" Basically the same as mainline but operated by a separate legal entity with its own HR pool, slight variation of the main brand to the outside, full integration of sales and FFP and operations. (The Delta Song or LH Cityline model)
  6. "A different HR pool with lower cost, hardly any visible differences to the outside". Basically the same as mainline but operated by a separate legal entity with its own HR pool, marketed like mainline to the outside. (The BA Gatwick model)
Transavia France was option 4 in the beginning. Only 20 planes and not allowed to fly to destinations also served by AF mainline. That constrained its development and potential benefits were not exploited. That made no sense, I agree with you.

I look at the current TO as an option 2. Lots of independence (good) but commercial separation from AFKL as well - which means that it may miss out on pax flows that would come its way from people that simply want to stick with the AFKL group companies as long as they get the benefits from that (flexibility of schedules, FFP).

Why not go to option 3? That way AFKL can hand them ORY-NCE/MRS/TLS routes and then TO sees what it does with them. Just the way TO has been handed ORY-BIQ, MPL, PPG, TLN etc. Do so as AF codeshares, and fully include it in Flying Blue the way EW is now fully included in M&M.
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 5:08 am
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Having TO/HV flights available through AF/KL channels with a codeshare that grants all FB benefits would make sense. Korean Air and Asiana do this with their subsidiaries. These flights are priced a slightly higher but offer other advantages such as connecting flights.

If AF offers abonn fares on these codeshares and FB benefits it would appease most people.
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 5:10 am
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Originally Posted by Digicola
Having TO/HV flights available through AF/KL channels with a codeshare that grants all FB benefits would make sense. Korean Air and Asiana do this with their subsidiaries. These flights are priced a slightly higher but offer other advantages such as connecting flights.

If AF offers abonn fares on these codeshares and FB benefits it would appease most people.
Yes. And let me use my AF weekend card
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 5:30 am
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I agre option 3 is the eurowings model but to me it is not a very good one because it prevents the low cost airline being competitive as low cost. From that point of view, its worth noting that eurowing faces less tough competition from most German regional airports than the AF group does from ory, nce, mrs or Tls all of which are strong bases for at least one leading low cost.

For the same reason, I personally believe that codeshares, through checking, ffp or abonn facilities etc would run counter to the ability of Hv to compete as a successful low cost airline. In short, you cant have your cake and eat it because all those things have costs, and those costs will need to be reflected in price (actually, Ive taken a few routes from Scandinavia and France in which eurowings have entered the competition and in my experience they were never competitive on price).

The other thing is that as you point out in your own description, for option 3 to work, the network needs to fit what is good for hv (not whats good for af or kl) and whilst anyone can disagree with me, I simply dont trust af and kl to make the right call on that. Their primary loyalty is to af or kl, not to hv and I think it will always reflect on what they will try to push here. As an example, for one thing, Im not really convinced ory-mrs has great potential for a low cost airline, not with current train times. Af sound like they want Transavia to take it over, o wouldnt bet that Transavia would want that though I may of course be wrong and my view is also tainted by Af past practice and the long experience of relationship between kl and hv which has had its notable crises.
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 5:58 am
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Originally Posted by Digicola
Having TO/HV flights available through AF/KL channels with a codeshare that grants all FB benefits would make sense. Korean Air and Asiana do this with their subsidiaries. These flights are priced a slightly higher but offer other advantages such as connecting flights.

If AF offers abonn fares on these codeshares and FB benefits it would appease most people.
this is as well the Iberia/Vueling model.
IB prices are different from Vuelings ones .
IB code-shared flights operated by its LCC are including IB/FFP benefits. I like it.

That been said , will AF maintain lounges in ORY for this sole purpose ? Will TO have dedicated counters for check-in ? (+ priority boarding + free seat selection + free checked bags)

It could be solved by internal money transfer from AF to TO to offset these extra costs

Personally, I would go for it !
Otherwise as CDG is a no go for me for same day return on domestic trips (too much flight delay + traffic on A1), I will turn to the most convenient and reliable airline operating from ORY in 2026
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Last edited by Bullspread; Oct 24, 2023 at 6:07 am
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
For the same reason, I personally believe that codeshares, through checking, ffp or abonn facilities etc would run counter to the ability of Hv to compete as a successful low cost airline. In short, you cant have your cake and eat it because all those things have costs, and those costs will need to be reflected in price
You can do it the way Vueling does it, i.e. as a self-standing entity with its own (low-cost) pricing and then offer codeshared tickets (under, in particular, IB or BA code) at a much inflated price to cover the extra costs.

The downside of that approach is product-readability, i.e. pax can get confused (cf issues related to lounge access based on OW/BAEC/IB+ status when flying Vueling under BA, IB or VY code, for instance).
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by NickB
You can do it the way Vueling does it, i.e. as a self-standing entity with its own (low-cost) pricing and then offer codeshared tickets (under, in particular, IB or BA code) at a much inflated price to cover the extra costs.

The downside of that approach is product-readability, i.e. pax can get confused (cf issues related to lounge access based on OW/BAEC/IB+ status when flying Vueling under BA, IB or VY code, for instance).
Fair point so yes thats an option. Having said that whilst Im sure there is a customer base for this pseudo ib at a much inflated price it isnt me (perhaps not helped by the fact my ffp is Ba so wouldnt get TPs etc even if I booked the codeshare version). I also think Id be gutted if I paid the premium and something went wrong as I think vy is one of the worst airlines I know for customer service and delays/cancellation management
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 7:58 am
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The EW/LX codeshares work that way as well. On the same flight, the LX ticket is more expensive. Which is strange as EW gives some/all of the FFP benefits that LX also gives. It wasn't always the case, but for instance as a HON or SEN you can use the respective lounges and earn miles, starting January 1 you can even earn HON Circle miles on EW. Which would take away any incentive to book the LX ticket at a higher fare for the same flight (different story but also different pricing for connection flights)
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo
The EW/LX codeshares work that way as well. On the same flight, the LX ticket is more expensive. Which is strange as EW gives some/all of the FFP benefits that LX also gives. It wasn't always the case, but for instance as a HON or SEN you can use the respective lounges and earn miles, starting January 1 you can even earn HON Circle miles on EW. Which would take away any incentive to book the LX ticket at a higher fare for the same flight (different story but also different pricing for connection flights)
EW also conditions some benefits based on fare family. For example, lounge access is not possible on Basic fares (except HON, which, small cost for the group to keep them happy). Additionally, not all flights in network offer Biz class and associated benefits.

One big thing with EW which I don't know how it reflects (or not) HV/TO is that EW is ticketless. If you want a proper IATA ticket with interline and improved irrops options, you have to go via mainline (or GDS). Still EW marketed, but more expensive fare families.
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 10:42 am
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Indeed. To be honest, I am only semi-familiar with EW. I fly them rarely as there is only one route that they serve which I fly 1-2 times a year (ZRH-CGN), otherwise where I need to go they don't go. I pick up information from communicaiton and Flyertalk, without being particularly interested. So I may miss some of the details.

Still, even with those constraints, wouldn't it be nice if TO did offer at least some status benefits like EW?
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