Air France to reduce freighter fleet
In an effort to cut costs and return to profitability — goals outlined in the carrier’s Transform 2015 plan — Air France Group announced that it will make key changes to its cargo and passenger fleets. The carrier will reduce its freighter fleet from five to four aircraft and remove 34 aircraft from its short- and medium-haul fleet by 2014.
Air France will also complete the full integration of Air France Cargo, KLM Cargo and Martinair, seeking “new synergies with the provincial bases and abroad,” according to a company press release. Officials from the carrier believe that the fleet-reduction measures, as well the decision to streamline operations, will enable cargo to bolster Air France’s long-haul operations.
“Confronted with a difficult economic environment, cargo will pursue and step up efforts initiated three years ago in order to cut costs and improve its economic performance, notably by implementing a new commercial policy [and] improving the productivity of its commercial teams,” according to a press release.
The carrier is also making changes to its long-haul network. Air France announced that it will develop new routes this winter deemed potentially profitable, an action made possible by the carrier's cost-reduction measures. Routes that remain unprofitable will be shelved.
Air France Chairman and CEO Alexandre de Juniac defended the carrier’s actions, stating that “Air France now has a tailored industrial and strategic project. The objectives are ambitious but feasible: Air France needs to renovate its organization and increase productivity by 20 percent.”