Air France pilots on Saturday voted to continue striking until at least Friday, extending by another five days a walkout that has forced the airline to cancel more than half its flights over the past week. The point of contention centers on Air France’s stated plans to shift more capacity to its low-fare Transavia subsidiary, whose pilots work for significantly less pay than those of the main airline.
Air France unveiled the name of a new regional airline in late January that it plans to form through the merger of its Brit Air, Régional and Airlinair affiliates. Plans call for the airline–dubbed HOP!–to launch operations this summer, operating point-to-point flights within Air France’s domestic network from Paris Orly and connecting service to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) is to set up a new $64 million engine test cell facility at Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport. The very big engine maintenance offering will be operational in 2012 and complements the company’s recent investments in the Constellation building at Paris Orly Airport, and an electron-beam welding machine at Amsterdam Schipol Airport in Holland.
The Air France-KLM Group revealed itself yesterday as the customer that placed a previous order for nine Boeing 777-300ERs and seven 737-700s. Air France will add the 777s to its existing fleet of 46 of the type, while KLM replaces older 737s and expands its European short-haul operations. KLM plans to align the interior specification and operation of the -700s with its low-fare affiliate, Transavia.