|  12.11.2015

Customers remain the core of our business, in the air and on the ground

We measure our profit growth through our contribution to the economic and social development of the regions where we operate.





1. How would you describe the airline industry after the crisis? Did you see any turning point? What can you tell us about the customer experience?


Our strategy was to adapt to the course of the global economy, not only by reducing costs but also by consolidating our key routes (Northern, Southern and Central America, Africa and Asia) and major hubs, Paris – Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam – Schiphol. Relevant, our customers remain the core of our business, in the air and on the ground. We make sure their experience with AIR FRANCE KLM is remarkable, offering them an extended range of options, as well as significant improvements for the user convenience in terms of bookings, issuance of travel documents and check-in facilities. We have invested and developed our own air and on ground products, included high tech entertainment facilities available on the long haul flights, as well as mobile applications for our customers to be fully informed.


2. If you compare 2015 with any of the previous years, which one would you say was similar and why?


Every year is different in our industry. We are strongly technology dependent and one cannot relate to previous years without an extensive business elucidation, simply because the environment changes and evolves at rocket speed. To sum up, starting 2012 and up until 2020 AIR FRANCE KLM is set to great changes and investments resulting in further developing our product, e.g.: destination map, refurbish & reshape airplanes and travel cabins, develop communication channels with our passengers etc.


3. In an industry where covering costs in the short-term is probably more important than making profits, what makes AIR FRANCE KLM unique, at a regional level?


AIR FRANCE KLM is customer centric, that is to say we work to provide high-quality innovative products and a safe, efficient, service-oriented operation. Being a top player, we offer our customers global access through our extensive network of destinations and hubs, regardless of their place of departure. Moreover, we measure our profit growth through our contribution to the economic and social development of the regions where AIR FRANCE KLM operates.


4. New technology means less expensive ways for companies to do business and this surely impacts the customer flow. What does the airline industry do in order to maintain its customers?


New technology impacts the airline industry in many ways, one of which you mentioned above. However, the overall impact of new technology is doubtlessly a positive one: advanced aircraft technology, IT solutions and mobile technology, they all generate cost reductions and an improvement in operations for all big airline companies. Our current battle is to create better connectivity and enhance passengers' travel experience.


5. One of the particularities of the Romanian economy is the huge number of nationals working abroad. There are also business trips, leisure trips and other personal trips to take into consideration. How did each of the segments evolve in 2014?


In 2014, the Romanian market had the benefit of a growing demand for intercontinental destinations, in both business and leisure trips. Moreover, there was as well an increase in the number of Romanian customers choosing AIR FRANCE KLM high-end products, Business Class or La Premiere.


6. 2014 and 2015 were full of surprises in terms of energy prices, particularly the low oil price. Has the airline industry experienced a price deflation? Have companies used the extra cash to heal the wounds caused by the crisis? Has the money been redirected to bigger investments?


Fuel related costs is just one element of the entire pricing policy in the airline industry, therefore an analysis of prices evolution would not be of great relevance from this perspective. Our main goal is to offer access for world-wide travel to a larger group of customers, not only by reducing costs and offering affordable fare levels in the Economy class, but also by offering a better passenger experience from the moment of the booking throughout the journey.


7. What constitutes ‘a good year’ for AIR FRANCE KLM, from a Romanian perspective?


In 2015, AIR FRANCE KLM succeeded to offer an additional flight from Bucharest to Paris, thus increasing to 4 daily flights operated by Air France, next to the 2 daily flights operated in code-share with our SkyTeam partner, TAROM.


8. In terms of passenger flow, how was 2014 for AIR FRANCE KLM?


Between 2010 and 2014, I am pleased to say we experienced a continuous annual increase in passenger traffic. The year of 2014 came with 87.4 million passengers carried by AIR FRANCE KLM to 316 destinations in 115 countries.


9. What would you say is the correlation between the national economic growth and the growth of the airline industry (for instance, all other things being equal, a 4% economic growth leads to a x% increase in the number of passengers)?


AIR FRANCE KLM is a global player, bridging continents and facilitating travel between several countries and Romania through its hubs in Paris and Amsterdam. From this perspective, the matrix growth on number of passengers is a more complex exercise, whereby the growth of national economy is also having a say.


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