Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7483 times:
As of today KLM, on orders from Paris, has ceised all operations in Venezuela.
Official reason is "consolidation" of operations with their "partners" AF of course.
This is of course one of the most profitable areas of operation for KLM who have for over 70 years been strong in South America, an area where AF is traditionally weak.
So all the nay-sayers have been proven wrong, the destruction IS starting immediately and not after at least 5 years as "promised".
Poh2 From Venezuela, joined Oct 2003, 219 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6790 times:
Well...that's a shame. I flew KLM a lot to AMS, ZRH, AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA, LHR from CCS. But there's no way in hell that I am going to fly with Air France. Their marketing people should have done a bit more research before pulling the plug on KLM flights to CCS. Air France should have left!!! KLM has (IMO) a better image here than AF and was more popular.
Well, I'm one customer that AF-KLM will never see again...
To KLM: Thanks for all the great memories and for giving the best service from CCS to Europe. I'll never forget the MD-11's coming into Simon Bolivar airport. The B767-300's were nice too...but nothing like the MD-11.
KLM777 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 372 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6762 times:
Call mr. Wenting pessimistic, but this is just stupid and very sad news. I would not go as far as saying that the destruction process has started, but as Cayman, I fail to see the point.
KLM has the best reputation (to my best knowledge), so why try to build AF to that level and destroy this strong brand on their network? The only reason I can see is that CDG is going to be the main hub, and AMS is left with the common destinations and feeder traffic to CDG.
Maybe I'm pessimistic too, but I really fail to see the point in this. If someone can explain I'd be happy...
Cayman From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 905 posts, RR: 9 Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6660 times:
Last time I was in CCS I saw an AF A343. As I recall they do not fly CCS CDG daily but maybe 5x week?
However, with the elimination of the KLM 763 daily service--does that mean AF wil increase the frequency and/or equipment?
If AF and KLM were both flying the route with 343s and 763s respectively, does that mean that a combined route warrants bigger equipment? Would they even bump it to a 744 in there? Maybe they would extend a Martinique or St Maarten flight using a 744?
What's the last airline that flew any of the 747 series into CCS? Many years ago I flew in there from YYZ on an AC 742--ironically AC is about to start up service to CCS again from YYZ but on a lowly A319! Other than that I have never seen a 747 series a/c in CCS.
Planeguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 322 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6580 times:
Just my two cents but I'm with Jwenting. I think this may be the beginning of the end. This move has only confirmed my suspicions about this merger. IMO what the French are calling "consolidation" is nothing more than a poorly veiled "liquidation" of KLM. Correct me if I'm wrong, but over time I think they're going to turn Schiphol into some kind of secondary feeder airport like ARN.
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6223 times:
It's gotten worse...
Less competition means less incentive to go the extra mile, less reason to reduce prices.
Case in point: Last year KLM had to compete with MyTravel on the Amsterdam-Birmingham route.
They charged €150 roundtrip, MyTravel charged €110.
This year MyTravel has pulled out of the route, KLM immediately increased their price to €180.
Strange is it that everyone is up in arms about SABENA, Ansett, PanAm or TWA but AF doing the same to KLM (the oldest airline in the world no less) is just normal business practice...
I fully expect Schiphol to be a feeder for CDG within 3 years and disappear from the list of active airports within 5 years after that as they won't survive the reduction in traffic the inevitable destruction of KLM will bring.
The only hope left is that the merger will break apart before it's too late in which case KLM might be able to recover, but that hope is slim.
BuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2807 posts, RR: 3 Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6077 times:
The main mistake of KLM and the Dutch government was to let KLM be taken over by an airline that operates out of one of the three other main European hubs (London/Frankfurt/Paris), because now the risk is indeed very high that Schiphol will become a second league airport, which would seriously harm Dutch economy and interests.
If at all possible, KLM should have aimed for a merger with another European airline (Malev/CSA/LOT/TAP) in order to keep AMS as the main hub. Yes, even Alitalia would have been a better partner from that perspective - not from any other though...
MaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16499 posts, RR: 48 Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6007 times:
"It's gotten worse...
Less competition means less incentive to go the extra mile, less reason to reduce prices."
That's simply not true overall. Sure there may be some routes here and there that have seen prices go up but overall the entire industry has seen a dramatic decline in average fare and a huge increase in passanger numbers in the last two decades.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5942 times:
Unusual move by KL/AF, I too believe that this is only the first step in the reduction of longhaul flying for KLM and the de-emphasis of the KL's hub at AMS, sad news.
What I find so unusual is that KL service to Caracas is being dropped; KL has a great name and reputation in that part of the world, and KL has ties to the area with the Netherland Antillies so close by; while some route rationalization between the carriers was expected, I would have thought that service to Caracas would be assigned to KLM, just as I would expect certain routes to Western African nations to become exclusive Air France services. Very strange indeed.
Wietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 56 Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5846 times:
It's gotten worse...
Less competition means less incentive to go the extra mile, less reason to reduce prices.
This is not proven. There are a lot of different sides to consolidations and mergers. Some are positive for the customer, some are not so positive. To only stress the negative aspects is sad. I am a complete optimist, and I cant stand the negativity some people express.
But, to please the far majority of A.net viewers, let me start with the negative aspects to mergers:
The negative sides:
This means that airlines, or any other commercial firm for that matter, have no need to stand apart from the crowd of competitors. The incentive to be special for the customer (outstanding service, low prices, great network) is gone, because the customer doesn't have a choice anymore. This could lead to less service, higher prices and less possibilities for customers (a decrease in the amount of products offered)
Drain towards other markets
If a certain market cannot fullfill the wishes of its customers, they will move their interest, and, their money. In this example, the Dutch traveller market could switch from flying out of AMS to, per example, flying out of DUS, CDG or BRU. This could lead to a decline in traffic at AMS, which could lead to lower employment and an empty airport.
Competitive (comparable) products
If a company supplying a certain product cannot meet the demands of the customer (acceptable service, reasonable prices), the customer will switch to another product. In this instance, that would be the highspeed train or the car for Intra European travels. So the posibility of raising your price is not without a boundary. It will all have to be within al reason.
The positive side:
In a time of economic downfall, like the period we are in at the moment (especially for aviation) competition can destroy the entire bussiness. The extreme low number of passengers is split up between a lot of different carriers, making the number of profitable pax for each airline even lower. This will kill not only 1, but both airlines.
So even though it may look like KLM is committing suicide, they are actually saving their asses by joining an important competitor; AF. That way they form an important player in the industry with a lot of reserves and capital to back them up. This way the merger can even be of use to the customer. With the combined income on high yield routes, this new airline can start offering routes that are not profitable and were not an option when the airlines were still seperated.
I personally dont see this happening. There is one thing you must thoroughly realise. A brand is the most expensive thing for a company, airline or sodadrink, it doesnt matter. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent in the Netherlands ALONE on marketingcommunication and the positioning of brandnames in the market. Of all brands in the European market, KLM is among the very best and well known brands. They have a good reputation and people will always recognise a blue airplane as being a good, safe airplane, just because they associate it with KLM.
Even though it may seem like AF is planning to "destroy" KLM (I personally like to use the term "assimilate"), this will not happen. AF is not foolish enough to dump one of the strongest brandnames in the world in order to make their fleet larger. This will not lead to increased income compared to the situation where the KLM brand is being retained. So even if the French want to get KLM out of the market, they will not do so if they are smart. Profit-wise, it does not matter if the planes are all white, or a mixture of white and blue.
This all being said, the rational way of dealing with this is to start up a new airline, one that will be the result of completely blending AF and KLM together. A new paintscheme and a name is needed. This will have to be brought out to the customer in huge campaigns that stress the need for this merger and the advantages it can offer the customers. The first years (5-8 years) the colors and service should remain the same. After that, the first planes can start appearing in the new colors.
It is offcourse more complex than this, but this is the wider picture some fail to see.
btw, no armchair economist here.. I actually study this stuff at my Uni
SNBA319 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2003, 298 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5698 times:
Hey Wietse, that makes two of us.
About your point on making a new brand; i agree with you about completely renewing the airlines- brands, but dont forget that means the 'disappearance' of TWO strong brands in stead of one...thats double the risk. (But not impossible though.)
Wolkenridder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5682 times:
Two years ago I was working for KLM's Groups and Revenue Management Department here in Madrid, and already in those days Caracas was the weakest KLM destination in Latin America. I remember the loads were very low on the AMS-CCS-AMS route (during those days served by MD11). Madrid is one of the main feeders for the AMS-CCS traffic and we had serious problems with CCS because there is too much competition on that route offering better fares than KL and flying non-stop such as: Santa Barbara Airlines, Aeropostal/Air Europa and Iberia. That was the main problem of CCS, so this news doesn't suprise me at all.
The first action taken was to downgrade CCS to a 767-300 and then now taking advantage of the merge with AF, they drop CCS, I was expecting that this was going to happen already two years ago.
Wietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 56 Reply 20, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5666 times:
True! That is why the customer should be informed to the fullest, let them know what will happen to their favourite airline and stress that the service and overall performance they have gotten accustomed to will not disappear, but that it will live on in the new airline where the 2 identities will melt to form the airline of the 21st century.
Wietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 56 Reply 22, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5514 times:
The biggest problem is that the employees feel connected to their "old" airline. They may have a problem with accepting the newer airline as employer.
Top management, perhaps with help from middle and lower management needs to be fair and open towards the employees. Stress the need for this merger. Explain things, dont leave them in the dark, that will only distantiate them from the new airline.
Rumors in the media like there are now, with AF being rumoured to take over and destroy KLM are killing the reputation of the new airline. Internally it destroys the affection with the airline. Externally that results in employees speaking negatively about the new airline. (Social pressure, fear of loosing "your" airline)
This is why it is important that before the actual melting together takes place, the merger should be socially accepted. The need for the merger has to be clear to those who care (frequent flyers) and the media has to stop with framing this issue as a negative one.
Once socially accepted, employees dont have to defend the merger to their direct social environment anymore and the attitude towards the new airline will change.
but this will take time. That is why I suggested a 5-7 year transition period in which both internally and externally things need to be explained.
This all concerns KLM employees. AF employees look at this with a different attitude. The media frames it in such way that AF is taking over KLM, not the two merging. But, however, the creation of a new, joint name, will cause problems within both airlines.
Funny. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the whole merger, but we never see this being discussed here... just goes to show how underrated communication is...
PS. Me too Dont know if you get the Medium sent to your house? (Mercurius' magazine) One of my pics was in there this month. See pics taken at other activities organized by Mercurius at http://www.digipix.tk/
This should be read by all that are worried about "safeguards" of KLM status. Of course we have to believe them at face value. I came from five mergers and two resulted in route desolution but made the result stronger in time.
The exact quote about CCS is here:
"In an indication that route systems will be tightly coordinated, on June 1, Air France and KLM plan to boost Paris-Amsterdam services to shuttle-like operations. In addition, duplications on thin, long-haul routes will be discontinued; for example, in the next few weeks, Air France will terminate flights between Paris and the Philippines, a destination that will be served only from Amsterdam, while KLM will end flights to Venezuela. In addition, medium-haul points such as Turin, Italy, and Casablanca, Morocco, will be served only from Paris, while thin routes to British regional destinations will be served only from Amsterdam"
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
Bobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6246 posts, RR: 9 Reply 24, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5358 times:
Where did you get the information that AMS-CCS was one of KLM's most profitable routes? The infomation on this side of the pond agrees with the info from Wolkerridder ie: that it was not profitable.
I don't see the management of AF/KLM canceling a profitable flight. Do you think they canceled the AMS-MIA flight because it was profitable?
I too think KLM is a wonderful airline and working within the NW/KL alliance was beneficial to both and will continue that way. Its time to move on and support the new airline AF/KLM and the new alliance Skyteam whick will include the new partners KLM,NW and CO.
25 MaverickM11: "The biggest problem is that the employees feel connected to their "old" airline. They may have a problem with accepting the newer airline as employer
26 AF-A319: Jwenting, could you tell me how you accessed the highly confidential information of KLM regarding route profitability??!?? If you have a trick, please
27 GoAibusGo: As Wolkenridder posted, I always heard also that CCS was a weak destination for KLM.
28 Venezuela747: As a Venezuelan, whose first International flight and "big plane" (B747) flight was on board of KLM's B747 CCS-AMS-CCS, it just makes me feel really s
29 Wietse: Sure, it is easy to do away with issues like this with a simple "stop whining", but that is not possible. These issues are very real and one of the bi
30 LJ: As of today KLM, on orders from Paris, has ceised all operations in Venezuela. Mr. Wenting, your knowledge on matters concerning KLM or Dutch aviation
31 AOMlover: "KLM who have for over 70 years been strong in South America, an area where AF is traditionally weak." Really ??? AF flies to Buenos Aires, Santiago,
32 Plane Holland: I would like to add that whenever an airline would quit a viable route, another airline starts flying that route. Suppose KLM would stop flying to CGK
33 Mdutch: Seems that the people negative about KLM & Air France merging can always find enough "evidence". Must say that arrive at conclusions in strange way.
34 SNBA319: Rumors in the media like there are now, with AF being rumoured to take over and destroy KLM...the media has to stop with framing this issue as a negat
35 Lfutia: eej... ik denk dat this thread has turned into an A vs B thread... Ja... natuurlijk any route that KL ops and drops is sad... Wij alles weet dat ja..
36 M404: AOMlover Just a guess on your comparisons to "South America" between AF an KL, I would bet that the author is not including Caribbean airports but onl
37 Globetrekker: Hi there I am a part of KLM ground crew at an outstation and have been working for the company for seven years. I work primarily in Aruba (a Dutch isl
38 Varghel: All this is very sad. Just if I think that KLM has been almost always a part, the best part of Venezuelan aviation. Thanks to KLM Venezuela had Viasa,
39 KLMCedric: How about AF pulling out of CGK and MNL and KLM starting a non-stop MNL flight on the 777 later this year, do all you pessimists consider this as the
40 Sabena 690: Care to reply, JW? Poor guy... if you have to change the facts so much to feed and believe the lies you made yourself, I feel very very sad for you. S
41 SNBA319: KLMCedric, do you by any coincidence fly FCO-BRU on a SNBA AvroRJ recently? Sorry for the off-topicness guys it just dawned on me i might have met a f
42 KL911: Who cares anyway? CDG is falling apart, is disliked by all business travellers and CDG might soon collaps completely nowing French people builded the
43 LJ: I'm also one of the guys that said that this will be the end for KLM. Look at which airlines still exist that AF took over..... Wake up people, and st
44 Moby: "I wonder why people transfer at CDG." It could be..... because they have to !!
45 Icarus75: JWENTING : At the same time, AF will cease flights to Manille!!! Look closer at the consolidation between networks : KLM will cease AMS / Turin and AM
46 Diesel33: So a loyal customer of AF who wants to go from CDG to GLA now has to connect through AMS??? That's pretty ridiculous.... -diesel33