Although Air France merged with Dutch airline KLM 13 years ago, the relationship between the two carriers is still not harmonious.
Dutch public broadcaster NOS has leaked details of a report which was commissioned by the unions of both airlines.
It reveals that co-operation between these two airlines is so “stiff” that “executives doubt the survival of the French-Dutch airline combination in today’s competitive market.”
To compile the report the Dutch and French researcher spoke with 50 managers at Air France and KLM.
When interviewing Air France it’s reported that “The French have the impression that the Dutch think only of money and are always ready to fight for profit. They are not afraid of anything.”
Conversely “The Dutch think that the French are attached to hierarchy and political interests which are not necessarily the same as the interests of the company.”
All is not lost, however.
It is noted that “there are plenty of people [employees] with a positive attitude and that “there is still a desire to break free from stereotypes hindering the success of Air France and KLM.”
No specific recommendations are made.
In a statement, KLM said it takes the feelings of the workers “very seriously” and wants “to achieve improvements where necessary.”
From the passenger’s viewpoint (once you leave aside Skyteam membership, FFPs, connectivity and so on) these could be two different airlines.
For starters each carrier’s hub at Amsterdam and Paris CDG is different in concept, size and layout.
And each carrier continues to operate with different onboard products.
KLM remains a two-class airline. It scrapped first class many years ago and even today, it still has no proper premium economy cabin.
By contrast Air France has a more upmarket image with its four classes product. It retains a highly respected first class on many routes (see Tried and Tested, April 6) and it provides a proper premium economy cabin. It also operates the A380 super jumbo.