Air France’s pilots Yesterday voted to allow an overhaul of the carrier’s domestic network. Their main union shared that the crew members are giving the go-ahead for the expansion of the airline’s low-cost subsidiary.
The move is an important step in the development of Air France-KLM. The SNPL union organized a referendum with a turnout rate of 82.63%. Altogether, 90.37% of the votes were in favor of the plans of group CEO, Ben Smith. He seeks to allow Transavia to take over some domestic routes from Air France and its other regional branch.
After the vote both sides signed formal amendments to labour agreements that had previously barred Transavia from domestic services.
The coronavirus crisis has helped Smith, who joined from Air Canada in 2018, to carry out once taboo reforms to domestic services that lost 200 million euros ($236 million) last year.
Air France’s Paris-Charles de Gaulle hub will continue to strengthen the airline’s medium and long-haul flights at terminals 2F and 2E. Meanwhile, HOP! will link the CDG global hub to regional markets from terminal 2G.
The group feels that these changes will enable its domestic operations to be right-sized to ensure sustainable future profitability. The company is hoping to have transitioned by 2023.
Group CEO, Ben Smith SAIA:
“The rapid endorsement of this agreement is a major step forward in the Air France-KLM Group’s recovery strategy,” Smith said, as per the press release.
“At a time when our sector is experiencing an unprecedented crisis and is entering a phase of profound change, we have taken an essential step towards achieving sustainable improvements in our economic and environmental performance.”
Smith summarized the plan by stating that Transavia is a differentiating asset, and today the group is starting a new chapter in its development.