Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Air France KLM Increases Capacity By 1000 Seats on Routes

Air France KLM has increased capacity on the Paris-Lagos, Amsterdam-Lagos route to one thousand seats this summer.

The vice president, Africa and the Middle East for Air France KLM, Mr. Etienne Rachou disclosed this recently.

He said: "We have increased our capacity, the number of seats we are selling, offering to the Nigerian market by more than 20 per cent and how are we going to do that, we are going to do that by increasing the number of flights and by increasing the capacity of the aircraft, putting a large aircraft on the Nigerian route."

The group would be adding 1000 seats more on the Nigerian market, as well as the four First Class seats this summer," he said.

He spoke at the re-opening of Air France KLM office in Abuja.

"The investment we have been doing in Abuja is only part of the investment we are doing to develop our presence in Nigeria. It is very important year for us because we are probably going to invest a lot especially with our summer schedule which is starting on the 29th of March. We are actually increasing again the product and the services we are offering to our Nigerian customers," he said.

"We are moving the B777 to Lagos, both from Amsterdam and Paris increase the capacity to Lagos and we are going from a daily flight from Port Harcourt to Paris Charles de Gaulle. So we are moving from 24 to 27 departures per week out of Nigeria. So increasing the services we are offering to Nigeria is a proof of commitment, of dedication to this very important country, a very important market for Air France", he stated.

He explained that Air France KLM has a long history in Nigeria, dating back in Kano for over 62 years, adding that Nigeria was a very important market to the group.

On the global economic recession, he said that the current global economic recession is a threat to airlines' growth.

He said: "Yes, there is a crisis, we think for us because of the very sound and loyal basis for customers we have here to improve the services. You are right, it is going to be tough, but we are very confident."

In another development Air France, KLM and GOL are now commercial partners

A statement from Airfrance KLM noted that Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman of AIR FRANCE KLM and Constantino de Oliveira Junior, CEO of GOL Linhas AĆ©reas Inteligentes S.A., which comprises the GOL and VARIG brands, last week signed a commercial cooperation agreement in Sao Paulo .

This agreement will enable the 15 million customers who are members of AIR FRANCE and KLM's "Flying Blue" and GOL's 6 million "Smiles" frequent flyer programmes to have access to new Frequent Flyers benefits and destinations.

It said beginning May 1, Flying Blue members can earn Miles on all GOL and VARIG flights. Reciprocally, Smiles cardholders can earn Miles on AIR FRANCE and KLM's networks. Then, as of 1 July, they will all be able to use their Miles as award tickets on all three airlines (AIR FRANCE, KLM, GOL/VARIG).

To mark this agreement, Flying Blue cardholders will double their Miles on all GOL/VARIG flights between 1 May and 31 July 2009. Similarly, Smiles members will be able to double their Miles when travelling on AIR FRANCE and KLM flights over the same period.

The agreement also makes provision for the implementation of code sharing.