Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 14 May 2018, summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week, and a look the week ahead.
How do you solve a problem like Air France-KLM?
Air France-KLM’s Chief Executive, Jean Marc-Janaillac, is to leave the airline group tomorrow.
As has been well documented, Jean Marc-Janaillac, tended his resignation after Air France staff rejected a pay offer.
Whilst the decision in theory rests with the company, as the French state owns 23% of the voting rights of Air France-KLM, there is a considerable political dimension.
The fact that the nationality of the Air France-KLM Chief Executive is considered significant is a sign of its divergence from IAG and Lufthansa Group.
All three groups began consolidation by bringing two de-facto national European airlines together: BA and Iberia in the case of IAG; and Lufthansa and SWISS in the case of Lufthansa Group.
IAG is no longer thought of as simply a marriage of two airlines from the UK and Spain. Whilst there were tensions and local political difficulties in its early years, IAG has a pan-European brand LEVEL and a Global Business Services centre in Poland. It has acquired a hub in Dublin through its purchase of Aer Lingus. BA’s CEO is Spanish, having previously had Australian and Irish CEOs.
Talk of the demise of Air France is premature. The local Paris market is simply too big to let it go. However, the rest of aviation in Europe has largely moved on and it’s time for the French state to let Air France-KLM go.
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