Air France wants to boost revenue by targeting premium rather than economy class passengers.
In an interview with La Tribune, Canadian Ben Smith (Air France KLM’s new CEO) intends to remodel the cabins on its long-haul fleet to entice more high revenue travellers.
The idea is to offer a more consistent long-haul product for premium travellers. At the same time the number of less lucrative economy class seats will be reduced.
La Tribune notes, “Focusing on a “high contribution” customer base makes it possible to stick with the high-end image reflected by the Air France brand. It is hoped that the increased revenue will offset Air France’s high cost structure.”
“It means Joon has no place [within Air France] and [therefore] it will disappear.”
Earlier this month Business Traveller reported Air France’s plans to close Joon, with the carrier stating that “the brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, for employees, for markets and for investors”.
Ben Smith laments “We are currently the only major company that does not yet offer a consistent product like fully-flat beds in business class.”
Says La Tribune, “Out of 101 long-haul planes [in the Air France fleet] only 51 [44 B777s and seven B787s] have the latest business class seats providing direct aisle access.”
The others have what La Tribune describes as “toboggans” without full aisle access.
And it’s noteworthy that even Air France’s A380 fleet (which the carrier intends to halve in size) retains the older angled lie-flat seating in business class.
In addition to the business class improvements Air France intends to drive revenue by increasing the seat count in its premium economy cabins.
Recentl Air France improvements for premium travellers have included new catering and inflight amenities.
- Air France unveils its first new business class menu of 2019
- Air France rolls out new 85th anniversary amenity kits
- Air France adds new Healthy meal to its a la carte menu