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Sadly UK’s market will not be able to sustained KLM ambitious plan. Most of UK premium market are in London. Competition is tough, and although KLM serves 25+ UK points, it faces completions from some other airlines, such as LH. Furthermore, some of my friends who work for the government here don’t always fly KLM. They often fly BA too, especially BA prices ex-AMS almost always cheaper than KLM. As UK is an important market for KL, so does NL to BA. Hence my stance on the issue.
Btw, here is a report done by CAPA about AF and KLM. Not surprisingly, KLM has done much better than AF for the past 7 years. And operation ratio between AF:KLM has now come to 5.3:4.7. It proves that the situation is not all bad for KLM. Despite of the rough situation at home, KLM grew well. It is now obvious that KLM is most probably the favorite and the most important child of AF-KLM.
Furthermore, I understand the pessimism towards AF workers. However, I actually think the violent that happened will change the situation in AF for the better. But again only time will tell. 🙂16 Oct 2015
While I hear your arguments, and some of them being quite sound, I think you completely under estimate the value of the KLM brand, and the strength of KLM within the very strong market place that is the Netherlands. KLM has never solely relied on its home market, if it had, KLM would have been history long ago, instead of being today the oldest operating airline under its same name.
That said, The Netherlands is an immensely successful nation with a very strong economy. It is home to numerous international organisations, and the home of some very important worldwide businesses. The Netherlands is the third largest foreign investor into the United States after the UK and Japan, how’s that for such a small nation. Schiphol is an incredibly efficient airport (even if you land on the bloody Polder runway) and makes connecting there a hell of a lot easier than in almost all other major European hubs (LHR, CDG, FRA, MUC, FCO). And let’s not forget the reputation the Dutch have on the world scene which keeps the Netherlands as a very popular nation to do business with, transit through, and of course to visit. All this is what helps to keep KLM viable and successful.
KLM has survived on their own in the past, and can survive and thrive on their own again, especially removing the noose around its neck that is Air France. There is a place for niche carriers all over the world, and KLM could be one of the best. AF is tearing them down, and needs to be cut loose. Let AF try it on their own again. EU legislation wont allow the French government to bail them out, so my guess on their survival would be close to zero % if they don’t adjust to the times and I for one would be happy for that tough lesson to be taught to the intransigent French unions. The status quo should not remain.16 Oct 2015
Yes, NL has a good economy, and I never say KLM will go down if they were to go on their own, but instead they will shrink. Of course if they don’t mind, they can be a smaller player or niche like you said and thrive. But given that they want to be a main player in the aviation industry, AF is needed for many reasons.
I am not pro France nor I am pro BA like most of the posters here. I am pro KLM, and talking about it with my friends over here in NL, KLM’s ambitions will require a cooperation with one of the big airlines. Think of the bargaining power to buy new plane and products. True, NL has a good economy and a powerful nation (at least now) but sadly KLM still has no landing slot in HND, JAL didn’t want to extend their JV with AF to KL, the list goes on. The truth is to be a strong global player in the aviation sector, size matters.
Between demerging and staying put with AF. I still think KLM future will be stronger when they are with AF. If AF were to shrink, KLM will only get bigger (route transfer, etc). But of course it’s only my point of view. 🙂
Have a good weekend.17 Oct 2015
Latest news tonight is that Air France’s CEO says his airline will cut only “some jobs in 2016” and that the remainder planned for 2017 are “negotiable.”
And these job cuts in 2016 will be voluntary.18 Oct 2015
I’m not sure I entirely buy the argument that KLM doesn’t have options. A demerger would certainly be messy in all sorts of ways – and would require Governmental agreement, which the French would be very reluctant to give. But if things got so bad at Air France (even worse than they are now) – and it was clear the ship was sinking – then KLM could go it alone.
An independent KLM would, of course, be able to consider other potential partnerships. Air France was always KLM’s second choice after British Airways; the obstacles – notably BA’s lack of US anti-trust immunity and its pension fund deficit – have since been resolved and the logic remains compelling. But the point is that KLM has options – it doesn’t have to be chained to Air France to secure its future.19 Oct 2015
AMcWhirter – 15/10/2015 17:12 BST
Air Lib was a disaster and BA did well to sell their stake.
However, we need to remember that BA had a poor track record in loco ops
Air Lib – per your post
Deutsche BA – disposal
Go Fly – disposal
BA Connect – disposal
Played four, lost four is not a ringing endorsement of their judgment in this sector.19 Oct 2015
@FDOS_UK – 19/10/2015 13:14 BST
Yes, all four sold but does that actually mean that BA has a poor track record with Loco ops? GoFly was superb – which was a principal reason why EZY wanted to buy it from its management. When BA bailed out, it was for other reasons – such as their “pension fund with wings” blackhole that needed fixing after the repeat contributions holidays they were taking in the 1980s-1990s.
I rather think that the German and French operations respectively fell foul of mercantilism and protectionist behaviour by the punters in each country.19 Oct 2015
Go was sold by BA to 3i, they then sold it on to Easyjet for around 3 times what they paid for it a year later. It was then headed by the very capable Barbara Caasani. BA sold it far too cheaply to 3i and she was telling them that, that was the mistake, selling it cheap…not Go as such.19 Oct 2015
Many thanks for those links, they were truly eye opening and great detail. Helps me as a Shareholder (bought when very low so ok still), and to let you know we get nothing of the KLM results compared. It is always mixed up, so great to have this information. It bares out the crews, and a Captain i spoke to recently had a coffee at the back n chatted, for 20 mins on a 747 KLM flight from HKG (New Biz is great), and he was embarrassed by AF., and annoyed at them.
The AF strike last year cut a hole in the Euros 500 Million income and profit was wiped out for the year. KLM staff have actually moved roles rather than let go of “The KLM Family” as i have heard for 20 years from every level of KLM, chatting to crew, a couple of Senior Pursers, and a Director of Engineering for Schiphol, Crews came in on days off and did secretarial roles, pilots took on flight planning roles and engineers, they really have fought hard, and you can see in your info they are profitable. They are Democratically lead, team consultations – many new ideas has come up from these, and dislike conflict and avoid it at all costs. They use their intelligence not physical attacks to change and solve..
I would add though, KLM bring many people from East, North, and Southern Europe for transfer and many flights within the EU are full. I agree with, and we all know Schiphol wins best European Airport each year, and with 5 or 6 runways and an tidy & neat (Literally) set out ground operation, who would not want to reflect loyalty back.as Best European Airport!
@DutchYankee, both of us who have shared on here many times our experience of KLM and agree on many aspects we see and hear. I have noticed to say 2 years ago, KLM for LHR-AMS services decline from their new 737 7/8/9’s that had 10 rows of business class and were always full. Now 2-3 rows Biz, but the use of Fokker 70’s and the odd Embraer 100 on this route, with less than half being 737’s, so a much reduced capacity. I wonder if this is reflected around the regional hubs?
I fully agree with the ease of transfers, and efficiency of Schiphol, and i always think of KLM’s domestic market being all of Europe as a whole, with an excellent reputation. They also have kept LCY with codeshares on CityJet, though i wish they would run their Embraer 100’s in! They come under CityHopper unless 737, and their was a plan within 5 yrs, and we are about a year into it, that ALL European flights would run under the CHbrand and service level.
Not sure with changes at the top of both Sides of the one Company, if this is still the plan.
Let us not forget also, the success of Transavia with a 94% load factor, with a healthy profit. However KLM Cargo even after with reduced Capacity, is running at less than 50% loads. AF/KLM also signed a close co-operation agreement with Etihad lasting for 10 years.
The behaviour that shot across the World of AF going far beyond a protest and i support fully access to Unions, not regressing back to the Victorian era!). KLM not needing to protest or stop, as they are non-confrontational and democratic and care of their KLM Family.
AF’s Belligerent crews and rude ground staff un-interested in their jobs i seem to get the few times i fly with them short or long haul, always a problem/s. It is not French bashing, it is an observation of how people were behaving, compared to a democratically or more disciplined Airlines, from observing, friends family, Business community ,and colleagues. It is simply observation and listening the opinions and views of those who are KLM, and others who have travelled with them. I would approach any Airline or flight on a mere observation in this way, and have over many years, worldwide.
Assault / ABH is a criminal offence that was seen in those clips. If it were ANY Company, and profession, in ANY country, those behaviours are not acceptable and should be dealt with by The Judicial system. I would say the same about any Airline that were beamed across the world as this was. They did themselves a great damage. A Criminal record bars you from all professions or Business roles these days for life!
I have seen much on BT forum about starting BA flights from Europe, and KLM is not cheap from the UK for say Business long haul transfers. However, take a look at these Business Z class fares with 60% off booked 3 months in advance to every continent.
Using the strength of the £ and weakness of the Euro, I have had a return Business class from AMS, to St Maarten for 999 Euros return, BKK for £1,250, and booked Panama city for peak period just after New year fcming up, for 10 days costing £1,200 return! So in Business class ex Amsterdam, they have truly u beatable deals. Just book a regional flight from the UK, and ask them to join the bookings and all is the result of terrific deals. Delta was over £3,500.
Yes, these are on the Netherlands website only, but you simply book a return Ex UK, for £99 say LCY, and you save £500 -£1,600 in my recent experiences. I suppose this is what BA does in AMS, cross cultural marketing and local market adjustments.
I do the same with Etihad. A Biz return from LHR to Sydney was £3,700 CDG, AMS, DUB i checked. I got the same W class booking return W+Biz in Euros, ex Dublin, coming out at £2050!! A Cityjet £99 fare over to start from DUB, saved me over £1,700 return!, with the same A380 to Sydney and miles and benefits. Chauffeur cars, 2 night complimentary stopovers, cars each way, start and end of yr trip, and fabulous lounges, a great Guest FFP. they are innovators and have just introduced the Business studio, and First Apartments. They have Nannies, a n on board Chef, food and beverage Manager, and food freshly cooked , not chilled meals. I get £800 worth of additional benefits added, were i to have purchased them myself.
Another Airline innovating, profitable for the last 3 years, and expanding rapidly, with every flight nearly always full. I think they would go well with KLM?
I agree with you both, and just hope one day KLM will stand alone, or perhaps an Airline such as Etihad, will bring hem into their fold, as they buy shares gain Board influence etc. They do not come in and bully or undercut a National flag carrier as Emirates do, they seem to just want to push everyone else out, where as Etihad have investment and people, and innovating and adding to travel, where most are cutting back.
KLM at least have had most of their fleet renewed, 789’s on the way, and kept the brand, and the Dutch hospitality shines out. I also think it will survive, and The Dutch Government are considering a Euros 400 Million taking of shares only last week, to balance out a greater say for the future of KLM. They will survive, we shall support them as many from throughout the world, and basically all over Europe, this being their Domestic hub in a different sense.
Best wishes and enjoyable flying guys!19 Oct 2015
Strike by AF ground staff in France tomorrow (October 21).
Not all ground staff will be striking and AF hopes to run all its flights but there may be delays.
AF advises passengers to check-in and print their baggage tags online.20 Oct 2015