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Old March 15th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #381
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Interview: Further growth ahead for KLM in China: COO Elbers

THE HAGUE, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Royal Dutch airlines KLM already offers a number of destinations to China, but COO Pieter Elbers still sees possibilities for further growth in the future.

"We embarked on a growth strategy in China from 2005, and from that year on we have added both frequencies as destinations," Elbers explained.

"KLM has the largest number of destinations into China. We now offer 58 weekly flights to 8 Chinese destinations," he said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.

KLM, which was established in 1919 and has been operated until now as the eldest Airlines company in the world, started its business in China in 1996. As a global company based in Europe, KLM faced a lot of challenges when it entered into China.

"We see that the language and cultural issue is clearly different," the 42-year-old COO said.

In order to get closer to the Chinese traveler, KLM provided a series of Chinese onboard services.

"We have on board of our flight a range of products to make it more suitable to our Chinese costumers, we have Chinese cabin crew on board, we have adjusted our meals into a more Chinese, we have our in-flight entertainment system adjusted, videos, music, etc. on board, and we have an exchange of personnel."

"Well, clearly there is no karaoke on board, but we do have hot snacks, preferred especially by our Chinese costumers," he added with a smile.

Aside from the onboard services, KLM has tried to get closer to the Chinese customer through various means, even including the Chinese twitter "weibo". By inviting the popular Dutch cartoon Miffy to explore the world together, KLM has now more than 130,000 followers.

"As a foreign company we need to catch up with these Chinese developments and yet at the same time not lose our Dutch identity," Elbers explained, "Miffy was a good bridge between our Dutch roots and something that is quite well known in China, and we got very positive feedback from our Chinese costumers in China."

Miffy is not the only bridge for KLM, Panda is the other one, for example. In 2012, KLM named a new Boeing 777 as "Wolong National Park", which is the home of the panda, and then adopted a panda later that year.

Participating in the Chinese market is the main strategy of KLM, but the purpose is not only to promote KLM, but also to promote the Netherlands.

"That's why we wanted to have so many destinations and so many connections," said Elbers. "We have clearly seen the results of that. Quite a few Chinese companies have chosen Amsterdam or the Netherlands to place their European headquarters or to make their European facilities and regional offices here in Amsterdam."

"The majority of our marketing campaigns have been organized around this idea of the city of Amsterdam as a gateway to Europe and Schiphol airport as a wonderful hub," he added.

"We think this is an ideal starting point for our Chinese costumers who travel to and from Europe. It is easy to connect; it is great for shopping; and the network we have in Europe is an excellent opportunity to discover the rest of Europe."

The COO emphasized the strategy of his company "is a combination of growth by KLM as an entity and Air France-KLM as a group and at the same time enhancing a further deepening of the relationship with our Chinese partners."

One of these partners is China Southern Airlines, KLM has been cooperating with the Chinese Airlines since 1996. And now KLM has more: China Eastern Airlines, Xiamen Airlines etc.

KLM applied similar strategies to other parts of the world, including South America.

According to Elbers there is a strong connection between China and South America. "These two economic power houses are perfectly connected via Amsterdam. We have embarked on a more significant growth in South America, partly by opening up Buenos Aires. In addition, we have increased frequency levels to Panama, Ecuador and Peru."

In addition, KLM foresees economic growth potential in both Asia and Africa in the next two decades. This is illustrated in their expansion ambitions in these regions, Elbers explained.

"We expect significant growth in Vietnam, but the African continent is also a promising region, offering an enormous potential. We have increased frequencies to Lusaka and Harare. Also, KLM cooperates with Kenya Airways to provide connections from and to Nairobi."

Given the attention to all potential growth areas, China remains an important market of potential growth for KLM, especially now that Europe is facing its economic crisis.

"Shifting market focus and creating new partnerships is clearly an effective way of dealing with the crisis," Elbers concluded. "If we look at the number of big cities in China, and the used potential of Chinese customers wanting to explore the rest of the world, then I see further growth ahead of us."
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Old March 19th, 2013, 07:10 PM   #382
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Hell Yeah!

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Old March 23rd, 2013, 09:06 PM   #383
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So they finally upgraded from lie-flats to full-flats, that's definitely a pro.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 09:13 PM   #384
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I have a little question...
People always says that KLM an Air France look for different kind of public, could anyone tell me which kind of public wants each airline?
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Old March 25th, 2013, 10:35 AM   #385
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KLM is the people mover, attracting transfer passengers. Air France is supposed to be the Premium Airline...
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Old March 25th, 2013, 10:39 AM   #386
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A380 passengers go with air france
KLM hasn't got a single one
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Old March 26th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #387
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KLM is the people mover, attracting transfer passengers. Air France is supposed to be the Premium Airline...
Why is so and not exactly the opposite?
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Old March 26th, 2013, 07:04 PM   #388
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Why is so and not exactly the opposite?
AMS has very low premium demand, it's as simple as that.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #389
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Quote:
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AMS has very low premium demand, it's as simple as that.
Ok, that should be true. But AF is an even larger people mover and I wouldn't necessary call AF a 'very' premium airline. Moreover, IMO KLM services are often better than AFs and AMS is a much more friendlier hub than CDG.

Let's say you're flying from CDG to DXB and for about the same price you have to choose between Air France and Emirates (that's a truly premium airline). What would you choose?
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Old March 26th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #390
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I feel AF has suffered in a large part due to an undesirable airport hub and the reputation that came with it.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #391
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I feel AF has suffered in a large part due to an undesirable airport hub and the reputation that came with it.
Not really. London Heathrow is an awful airport to transit in, but yet people still support it and BA.

I would pick Frankfurt as a good transit point over Heathrow or CDG any day.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 10:26 PM   #392
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I agree with hkskyline, Roissy is still awful in most of people's minds but I do think that Aeroport de Paris (Adp) improved it significantly.
Yet, AF has A LOOOOT to do to catch up with some reputed carriers in the premium segment.

There was a documentary last week on the channel France2 about how european carriers dealt with gulf carriers and especially AF vs EK. At the end of it we could watch an interview with AF CEO where he was saying really seriously that, in 5 years, AF will become the worldwide best in the premium segment... I didn't know if i wanted to laugh or cry hearing that.

Here is the video, It's in french but the images are quite cool anyway :
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Old March 27th, 2013, 05:41 AM   #393
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Never say never. Most SkyTeam carriers were airlines that few people would've stepped foot on, especially in the 1990s either due to their unreliability or safety records, but the turnarounds of the likes of Aeroflot, Korean Air and Garuda have been impressive.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 07:02 AM   #394
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Let me update you on AIRFRANCE's services:

This Summer 2013, AIRFRANCE will adjust several medium- and long-haul flight schedules and frequencies, as well as aircraft adjustments, effective 31 March 2013. Details:

Flights operating from Paris/CDG:

Paris/CDG – Abidjan:
Effective 15 April 2013, service increases from 7 to 10 weekly

AF702 CDG1350 – 1820ABJ 77W D
AF704 CDG1910 – 2355ABJ 343 157

AF705 ABJ0200 – 1050CDG 343 126
AF703 ABJ2200 – 0630+1CDG 77W D

Paris/CDG – Abuja – Port Harcourt:
Boeing 777-200ER replaces Airbus A330-200

Paris/CDG – Bangkok:
Summer service operates 4 weekly (except May 2013), compared to 3 in Summer 2012.
31 March - 11 May 2013: 77W Day 136 (Day 247 from BKK) 772 Day 5 (Day 6 from BKK)
12 May - 27 June 2013: 77W Day 136 (Day 247 from BKK)
Effective 28 June 2013: 77W Day x247 (Day x135 from BKK)


Paris/CDG – Boston:
2nd Daily service (AF322/321) during Summer season in effect from 3 June to 29 September 2013 with 4-class 777-200ER (Previously planned from 20 May to 6 October 2013).

Paris/CDG – Buenos Aires – Montevideo:
Effective 16 April 2013, service resumption to Montevideo, 5 weekly 3-class 777-200ER service (Buenos Aires overall service remains daily)

Paris/CDG – Chicago:
31 March to 1 June 2013, service reduces from daily to 5 weekly (Day x13; increases to Day x3 from 2 to 12 June 2013), A330-200 operating.

Paris/CDG – Dakar:
3-class Boeing 777-300ER continues operation (introduced from 3 December 2012)

Paris/CDG – Fort-de-France:
Effective 13 May 2013, 1 weekly service CANCELLED.

Paris CDG – Guangzhou:
Effective 7 April 2013, service increases from 5 weekly in Summer 2012 to 6 weekly. Daily service begins from 17 June 2013.

Paris/CDG – Ho Chi Minh City:
Overall service in Summer 2013 increases from 3 weekly (777-300ER) to 4 weekly (777-200ER). The airline will no longer operate service to Phnom Penh (currently via SGN).

Paris/CDG – Kuala Lumpur:
Effective 22 April 2013, service resumes with 3 weekly flights on board 4-class 777-200ER

Paris/CDG – Libreville:
Service increases from 6 weekly to daily (777-300ER operates Day x13, -200 on Day 13)

Paris/CDG – Los Angeles:
Service variation, compared to 15 weekly in Summer 2012
31 March - 9 June 2013: 10 weekly
10 June - 29 August 2013: 17 weekly
30 August - 26 October 2013: 15 weekly (previous plan was 16 weekly)


Paris/CDG – Miami:
2-class Boeing 747-400 replaces 3-class 777-300ER in Summer 2012 (service reduces from daily to 6 weekly [Day x3] from 4 September to 1 October 2013)

Paris/CDG – Minneapolis:
21 May - 1 September 2013, NEW daily seasonal service with A340-300 (from 21 May to 16 June 2013, flight operates 5 weekly, Day x16)

Paris/CDG – Montreal:
AF344/347: Airbus A340 replaces planned Boeing 777-300ER. This flight in Summer 2012 operates with A380
AF342/345: Boeing 747-400 continues operation instead of 777-300ER
AF348/349: 3rd daily seasonal service remains in effect from 3 June to 29 September 2013 with 777-300ER (Previous plan: 777-200ER from 3 June to 26 October 2013)

Paris/CDG – Mumbai:
Airbus A330-200 replaces Boeing 777-200ER for Summer 2013 season.

Paris CDG – Pointe-a-Pitre:
Effective 13 May 2013, 1 weekly service CANCELLED.

Paris/CDG – San Francisco:
AF084/083: 3-class 777-300ER replaces 747-400 in Summer 2012

AF080/085: 2nd daily service in Summer begins from 22 April 2013 with 3-class 777-200ER with following frequencies:
22 April - 11 May 2013: 5 weekly (Day x27)
12 May - 29 September 2013: Daily
30 September - 26 October 2013: 3 weekly (Day 257; previously planned Daily service)


Paris/CDG – Singapore:
A380 operation increases from 3 weekly (Day 146 from CDG) to 4 weekly (Day x237)

Paris CDG – Toronto:
31 March - 16 April 2013, service reduces from daily to 6 weekly (Day x2), 777-200ER operating

Paris/CDG – Washington Dulles:
AF026/027: service reduction from daily to following, 4-class 777-200ER operating:
31 March - 14 April 2013: 3 weekly (Day 567; previous plan was 5 weekly Day x13)
15 April - 8 May 2013: 5 weekly (Day x13)
2 September - 26 October 2013: 4 weekly (Day x136)


AF028/029: Boeing 777-300ER replaces A380 on following:
9 April - 12 May 2013: Tuesdays
13 May - 9 June 2013: Daily
20 September - 17 October 2013: Daily (Previously 777-300ER to operate until 26 October 2013)


West Africa Service Changes:

Existing service until 30 March 2013:
Paris/CDG – Nouakchott – Conakry: 3 weekly
Paris/CDG – Conakry – Freetown: 2 weekly
Paris/CDG – Conakry – Monrovia: 2 weekly

Adjusted operation on/after 31 March 2013:
Paris CDG – Conakry:
Service becomes terminator operation, operating 3 weekly with A330-200

Paris/CDG – Nouakchott – Conakry:
Service increases from 3 to 4 weekly, A330-200 operating

Paris/CDG – Monrovia – Freetown – Paris/CDG:
2 weekly A330-200 service. Services to Monrovia and Freetown will be combined and no longer operate via Conakry.

Other Destinations:

Lyon – Tunis:
Service transferred to Transavia France

Marseille – Beirut:
15 June to 1 September 2013, service operates 3 weekly during this period only.

Marseille – Casablanca:
15 June to 1 September 2013, service operates 3 weekly during this period only.

Nice – Tel Aviv:
Service increases from 3 to 4 weekly from 15 June to 1 September 2013.

Paris Orly – Fort-de-France:
Effective 13 May 2013, service increases from 13 to 14 weekly, 777-300ER operating.

Paris Orly – Pointe-a-Pitre:
Effective 13 May 2013, service increases from 13 to 14 weekly, 777-300ER operating.

Toulouse – Casablanca:
Service increases from 3 to 4 weekly from 15 June to 1 September 2013.

Source
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Old March 27th, 2013, 01:41 PM   #395
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Old March 29th, 2013, 12:11 AM   #396
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Anyone have any info regarding the proposed (idealized would be the best word) CDG-BSB route? e.g proposed equipment?
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Old March 29th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #397
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Anyone have any info regarding the proposed (idealized would be the best word) CDG-BSB route? e.g proposed equipment?
Paris—Brasilia with Air France? Really? I have never heard of that one before... Should that be introduced, it could be with an A330 or A340, if not a B772.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 12:38 AM   #398
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Paris—Brasilia with Air France? Really? I have never heard of that one before... Should that be introduced, it could be with an A330 or A340, if not a B772.
Heard of it to be introduced next year in anticipation to the World Cup. I expect A330, but I would love to see a 4 holer or a 772 in these parts!
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Old March 29th, 2013, 08:11 AM   #399
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No more info has come out about the Brasilia after AirFrance's CEO announced it last year in Brazil that it would start in 2014. He also announced that São Paulo would become an A380 in the same year.

You probably have to wait until later this year when the schedules for early next year are loaded into the booking systems. If it starts in the 2nd half of 2014 you have to wait even longer.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelferis View Post
A380 passengers go with air france
KLM hasn't got a single one
Typical French attitude,

In reality though;
- KLM is the modern, efficient, well run, profit making airline
- Air France is the less efficient, loss making, overweight airline

KLM asks itself, from a business, financial point of view, do we need an A380 ?
Air France, like French are, ask themselves; do we need an A380 as a status symbol and what do the English and the Americans do ? do they buy the A380, Yes they do, well then of course we need an A380, Vive La France, Vive La Republique............

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