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Air France: Stable capacity for winter schedule 2012-13

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For its winter schedule, Air France is adapting its flight schedule to changes on the various markets and registers a stable capacity* (-0.3%) compared with winter 2011-12.

Within an unstable economic environment, the Air France-KLM Group has decided, for the 2012-13 winter season running from 28/10/2012 to 23/03/2013, to stabilize its growth in capacity* compared with winter 2011-12, including +0.5% on long-haul and -0.5% on medium-haul operations.

Stable capacity* for Air France: -0.1% on long-haul network and -0.5% on medium-haul network

For its winter schedule, Air France is adapting its flight schedule to changes on the various markets and registers a stable capacity* (-0.3%) compared with winter 2011-12.

On the long-haul network, capacity is stable at -0.1%.Air France is concentrating its growth on Asia (+4.5%), Africa (+3.9%) and the Caribbean (+3.1%).  This growth, which is made essentially by increasing the average capacity of aircraft, is concentrated on “winter season” destinations where demand is higher in winter than in summer. This winter, Air France will for example resume the seasonal services inaugurated last year to Cape Town and Cancun. In Asia, Air France will continue to serve Singapore by Airbus A380 and will increase its frequencies to Shanghai. Capacity* remains relatively stable (-0.7%) in North America.

On the medium-haul network, capacity is down slightly (-0.5%) with a decline in international capacity (-1.3%) and growth in domestic capacity (+1%). The launch of the provincial bases in Nice and Toulouse in spring 2012 has created additional activity, whereas the Air France Group’s regional partners are reducing their operations. 

The first measures implemented by Transform 2015

The introduction of the winter schedule allows Air France to implement the first measures of its transformation plan:

The seasonal character of the flight schedule at the Marseille, Toulouse and Nice bases 

As part of its Transform plan, Air France is favouring dynamic and pragmatic management of its flight offer. The launch of the provincial bases has allowed Air France to attract mostly leisure customers to destinations in France, Europe and the Mediterranean. As this traffic evolves in line with the seasons, the capacity offered during winter 2012-13 adapts to demand which is lower in winter than in summer with as a result service interruptions and reduced frequencies on departure from the bases.

A significantly upgraded service on the long-haul fleet

During the 2012-13 winter season, the service offered on board Air France long-haul aircraft will be significantly upgraded. The 7 Air France Boeing 747s are now all equipped with the latest-generation long-haul seats in the Business cabin and offer video-on-demand in all cabin classes. These aircraft will serve, among other destinations, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico and Montreal.

The Premium Economy class is now available on 98 long-haul aircraft, representing the entire fleet except for the 7 Boeing 747-400s.

More convenient arrivals for early morning long-haul flightsTo minimize saturation in the baggage claim areas and at immigration on arrival at Terminal 2E at Paris-CDG, Air France will extend the arrival flight times of its long-haul flights between 05.30 and 06.55 (instead of 05.30 and 06.10). This will rapidly lead to an improved quality of service, with reduced wait times at arrivals and easier connections. A test phase will be implemented for a limited number of flights during winter 2012, with a complete roll-out scheduled for summer 2013. 

“Air France is fully mobilized and our changing capacity is a clear demonstration of the Company transformation plan’s initial impact. We are rationalizing our flight schedule to adapt it to the current economic environment while repositioning our offer to better serve our customers. As a result, starting this winter, passengers on medium-haul flights will benefit from new services, with a redesigned in-flight dining experience and greater flexibility on their trip. Our plan is contributing to a real long-term dynamic.» stated Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of Air France.

The long-haul schedule (-0.1%)

Growth is concentrated on routes to Asia (+4.5%), Africa (+3.9%), and the Caribbean (+3.1%).

Stabilization and rationalization of capacity to North America

To North America, capacity remains virtually stable (-0.7%).

Within the framework of the transatlantic JV, Air France is taking over one of the two Paris-Atlanta frequencies operated by Delta last winter, bringing the number of daily services operated by Air France to two.

Within the framework of its fleet rationalization policy, Air France is operating a daily service to Washington by A380.

Air France is also increasing seasonal capacity to Cancun with a 4th frequency by B777-300.

Redeployment of activity to Asia and Africa

To Latin America, Air France is reducing seat capacity (-2.9%) as smaller aircraft will be used to serve the Caracas route (A340 instead of B777-200 and B777-300) and there will be less flights to Lima (3 weekly flights by B777-200 instead of 5 last winter).

The highest increase in capacity is on routes to Asia (+4.5%).

Air France is introducing a 13th frequency to Shanghai. Overall, its flight schedule to Asia is much the same as in summer 2012: A380 to Singapore, 3 weekly flights to Wuhan, a night flight to Beijing and adapted capacity to Bangkok and Phnom Penh.

To the Caribbean, Air France is increasing capacity by +3.1%, with the larger B777-300 serving the Dominican Republic and Havana.

However, to the Indian Ocean, Air France is significantly reducing seat capacity (-12.9%).

The suspension of flights to Mahé on a code-share basis with Air Seychelles (due to the suspension of Air Seychelles operations to Paris-CDG) is contributing to the drop in capacity to this region. Furthermore, Air France is adapting capacity to Mauritius by replacing the B747 operated last winter by the B777-300. Finally, to Antananarivo, Air France is adapting capacity with 3 weekly frequencies operated by B777-200 instead of 5 frequencies operated by A340.

To Africa, Air France is increasing capacity by +3.9%.

There will be increased capacity to Lomé and Kinshasa. Following on from the summer schedule, Air France is operating two A330 on routes to Nigeria: the daily flight to Abuja will still be operated as a continuation of Port-Harcourt, and the route to Lagos remains daily. Finally, flights to N’Djamena (3 weekly frequencies operated by A330) and Malabo (1 daily frequency operated by B777-200 as a continuation of Douala) remain the same.

Constantly adapting supply to demand in the Middle East, particularly in areas affected by political crises

To the Middle-East, Air France is significantly reducing seat capacity (-14.7%).

In addition to the suspension of services to Abu Dhabi, operations to Damascus remain suspended. Services to Saudi Arabia have been modified since last September, with the suspension of Air France’s own operations to Jeddah (which will now be operated on a code-share basis with Saudi Arabian), and additional frequencies to Riyadh (5 weekly frequencies instead of 3).

The international medium-haul schedule (-1.3%)

On medium-haul routes, capacity is down compared with last winter.

On departure from Paris-CDG, in continuation of the summer 2012 schedule, flights to Leipzig (2 daily frequencies) and Oviedo (3 daily frequencies) are suspended.

Compared with last winter, the Company is also withdrawing 1 daily frequency to Vigo (2 flights/day), Athens (2 flights/day) and London (7 flights/day, and 8 flights/day on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays). Finally, since Malev ceased flight operations, there are 3 daily flights instead of 6 to Budapest.

On the European inter-regional routes, the Anvers-Manchester service has been suspended since 17 September 2012. Inversely, on departure from London-City, there will be additional flights with an extra daily frequency to Edinburgh (4 flights/day) and Dublin (6 flights/day).

On departure from the French regions excluding the provincial bases, the new services to Strasbourg-Vienna (3 weekly flights), Strasbourg-Venice (2 weekly flights) and Strasbourg-Rome (4 weekly flights), all launched in the summer, will continue this winter. On the other hand, the suspension of the Lyon-Hamburg, Lyon-Birmingham, Clermont-Ferrand-Amsterdam and Bordeaux-Lisbon services is confirmed this winter. In addition to the other capacity adjustments made in summer 2012, the main new features for the new winter schedule are on departure from Lyon, from where new services to Budapest (3 weekly flights) and Gothenburg (1 daily flight) are served, while Stuttgart and Venice are losing a daily frequency, each city now served with 2 daily flights. Finally, KLM is resuming the Lyon-Amsterdam route.

The domestic schedule excluding the provincial bases (+1%)

On departure from Paris-Orly, in continuation of the summer schedule, Air France is strengthening its La Navette shuttle service to Toulouse (27 flights/day) and Nice (19 flights/day, i.e. 1 additional flight compared to last winter), while adjusting its capacity to Mulhouse (5 flights/day). Moreover, there will be increased capacity to Brest, with 8 frequencies operated by CRJ-100 instead of 6 daily frequencies (5 Airbus and 1 CRJ-100) previously.

On departure from Paris-CDG, in continuation of the summer schedule, the Company is adding a daily frequency to Toulouse and Nice (7 flights/day for each destination) compared with last winter.

On departure from the French regions, in addition to the adjusted capacity made in summer 2012, service to Nantes-Clermont-Ferrand has been suspended since 1st September.

The schedule on departure from the provincial bases

To ensure the flight offering to/from the provincial bases takes into account the seasonal nature of traffic, Air France has adapted capacity for the winter season..

On departure from Marseille, service to Hamburg, Copenhagen, Istanbul and Brest is suspended, with fewer weekly frequencies to Tunis, Athens, Casablanca and Prague. Inversely, the Company is resuming service to Amsterdam with 3 daily flights.

On departure from Toulouse, service to Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Athens and Malaga is suspended, with fewer weekly frequencies to Hamburg, Prague and Istanbul.

Finally, on departure from Nice, flights to Naples are suspended, with fewer weekly frequencies to Lyon, Venice, Athens and the Orly “navette” service.

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