Air France plans new long-haul arm as Janaillac takes charge

Air France-KLM Group said it will create a new long-haul unit to fend off Arabian Gulf rivals, simplify short-haul operations and work more closely with staff as new Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Janaillac seeks to put his stamp on a company riven by internal strife as its market share ebbs. The group will establish a French arm parallel to Air France aimed at turning a profit in ?ultra-competitive? long-haul markets, Janaillac, who took over July 4, said Thursday, adding that the carrier, named Boost, ?will not be low cost.? The unit will get 10 jets by 2020, with new routes comprising a third of flights. In the point-to-point market, services will operate only under the Hop! and Transavia brands from next year, with the Air France and KLM names dropped, the company said. Transavia will limit operations to the French and Dutch home markets rather than seeking to compete with low-cost carriers elsewhere. Oddo Securities analyst Yan Derocles said the nine-point strategic plan, which envisages revenue of 28 billion euros ($31 billion) by 2020 and an annual cost reduction of at least 1.5 per cent, was a underwhelming. Janaillac also becomes chairman of Air France, as well as holding down the same role at Air France-KLM. The former bus company boss became CEO after predecessor Alexandre de Juniac quit after three years in the job following a series of high-profile clashes with unions. Courtesy: GulfNews


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