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After Transform 2015, Air France/KLM is preparing a new plan for competitiveness

General Meeting of Shareholders


Air France / KLM was created just ten years ago. As Europe's leading airline group in 2004, it has subsequently bitten the dust, but the company is back on the track of recovery. This is the message that Alexander Juniac wanted to communicate during the shareholders’ general meeting. Provided the company keeps up the good work...



After the efforts is Air France back on a little cloud? photo / dr
After the efforts is Air France back on a little cloud? photo / dr
"It is time, after ten years, to draw a future for this company that is getting out of trouble," said Alexander Juniac, president of Air France / KLM, to his shareholders during the general meeting in Paris on Monday.

It was exactly ten years ago, on the 5th of May 2004, that the Air France / KLM received its first listing.

While the first glorious years have been forgotten since the crisis of 2008, the President of the Franco-Dutch group is cautiously optimistic, juggling graciously the carrot and the stick ...

He even took the risk of announcing that future dividends may be paid in 2016, at the end of the 2015 fiscal year.

A bold perspective when one considers that 2014 resulted in a net loss of €1.8 billion.

But the recovery is beginning to bear fruit. And the share price is following the same growth, at 3.4 euros in the darkest times of the crisis of 2008, it has now reached 11.95 euros. A rise of 220%!

The positive initiative of granting free shares to employees of the various companies in the group for a total of 2% of the capital is proof of the appreciation of all the efforts already made. The staff already holds 7% of the shares in the group.

But the flip side concerns the competitive efforts that will have to continue well beyond the Transform 2015 and its 90 projects. While the group announces having reduced its operating costs by 10%, it will have to continue this trend.

A new plan will be unveiled this summer to undergo negotiations

The plan that will take over Transform 2015 is being developed and will be unveiled this summer to undergo negotiations.

"I want to establish a competitiveness contract that will reward employees, enhance growth prospects and also provide an income for the shareholders."

"Growth and competitiveness go hand in hand,” asserts the Air France/KLM boss.

For 2014, the group expects a 3% growth in passenger traffic. The improving of services onboard aircrafts is almost finished.

The Air France product has been improved (€500 million in investment) after the KLM (€200 million). The Group expects a new investment of €100 million to refine everything.

As for short/medium carriers, Transavia will continue its development with 26 aircrafts based at Orly in 2016 instead of 11 this year.

Better yet, Transavia has a European destiny. The group aims develop it as a "low cost pan-European company."

As for point to point operations given to Hop, Alexander Juniac is aiming for three more years to break even...

The growth of passenger trafic is also linked to strategic agreements with other airline companies (Delta, GB, China Eastern, China Southern and others like Kenya Airways.)

As for the Alitalia case, Air France still holds 7% of its capital and is satisfied with the Franco-Italian trade agreements and has been following the case closely.

"Etihad can take only 49% of Alitalia under EU law. If the approach is done intelligently, we can reflect with them on our future development. But if they are hostile, we will consider withdrawing completely" analyses A.de Juniac.

Meanwhile, the commercial offensive remains the keyword for 2014.

Written by Editorial Board translated by Joséphine Foucher the 22/05/2014
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