AIR FRANCE – KLM SET TO INCREASE GROUP CAPACITY BY 1.7%

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore March 13, 2014 15:27

AIR FRANCE – KLM SET TO INCREASE GROUP CAPACITY BY 1.7%

Air France – KLM has announced that it will increase the group capacity by 1.7% for the 2014 summer season, compared to summer 2013. Long-haul routes will benefit from a 1.9% increase in capacity, with a 1.1% increase for medium-haul routes. The increased capacity marks Air France – KLM’s decision to provide additional capacity for emerging markets, while still maintaining a strict control over growth.

Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of Air France – KLM, said: ‘The group is undergoing a real commercial revolution. This is reflected in our summer flight schedule by growth on long-haul routes and the rise of our strategic partnerships. In a difficult economic environment, we have worked hard to reduce costs and streamline our offer. However, it is essential to continue our expansion on growth markets, which are the group’s future.’

Air France will increase capacity by 1.2% this summer, driven by growth in the long-haul sector and South America in particular, and despite the fragile economic environment.

The summer season will see the gradual introduction of the new Air France cabins, with the first Boeing 777-200 equipped with the new seats in Business, Premium Economy and Economy taking off for New York JFK airport in June 2014.

Driven by emerging countries, the increase in capacity is particularly focused on Latin America and Southeast Asia, where the company expects to launch two new routes to Brasilia and Jakarta.

Air France’s capacity in North America will increase thanks to a daily service to San Francisco with an Airbus A380, along with the introduction of the Boeing 747 to the Atlanta route during the entire summer season, and to the Toronto route over the peak summer period. Services to Mexico will also be enhanced by the addition of three weekly frequencies, giving a total of ten frequencies operated by Air France.

Latin America will see a strong increase in capacity, mainly targeted at Brazil, with the launch of three weekly flights to Brasilia from 31 March 2014. From June 2014, Air France will offer four weekly flights to Lima, in Peru, with a Boeing 777-300. Services to Montevideo in Uruguay via Buenos Aires, launched last summer, will also become a daily service, whilst flights to Panama City, a route successfully launched in winter 2013, will continue three times a week.

This summer, Air France is launching two daily flights to Tokyo-Haneda airport. In addition, Air France will continue to serve Shanghai with an Airbus A380 and will also operate flights to Hong Kong with an A380 from 27 May to 25 October 2014.

In Southeast Asia, Air France intends to launch a daily flight to Jakarta, as a continuation of the service to Singapore, to answer to the strong demand during the summer season, and add frequencies to Bangkok, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur.

In the Caribbean, capacity remains stable (-0.6%), while Air France capacity to Africa will slightly decrease. In the Middle East, capacity will be slightly adjusted (-3%).

Air France is also increasing the number of destinations offered to customers through the development of its code-share services, including Gol in Brazil, Delta in the U.S., and WestJet in Canada. A total of 13 new destinations will be offered to Air France customers with partner airlines in North America, with 20 routes to South and Central America, and to 28 destinations in Asia.

In France and in Europe, where the pace of growth remains weak, Air France is continuing to make adjustments to frequencies, both structural and seasonal, as well as develop its hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, where capacity will increase by 1.6%.

To develop intra-European traffic at its hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Air France has altered several flight schedules, to create a connecting bank dedicated to medium-haul flights between 20:00 and 20:45, without impacting the success of connections with long-haul flights.

Services to London and Yerevan (Armenia) will be strengthened by new frequencies, while those to Casablanca, Istanbul and Rome will be enhanced by the transfer of frequencies operated from Orly. Air France will also launch two daily flights to the oil destination Stavanger in Norway.

Some frequencies on the Orly-Marseille and Orly-Nice shuttle service will be suspended, as will flights from Orly to Barcelona, while capacity to Biarritz, Toulon and Pau will see growth thanks to the addition of a daily frequency.

For departures from regional bases, the seasonal flights introduced in summer 2013 will continue to operate, with certain frequencies operating during peak periods only, such as Marseille-Beirut, Nice-Athens, Toulouse-Prague, Naples, Berlin and Malaga, with other routes strengthened. The Toulouse-Tunis and Toulouse-Istanbul routes will be suspended.

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore March 13, 2014 15:27
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