kyrone
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AF And ORD

Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:58 pm

Last winter, Air France pulled out of ORD and had their staff work the KLM flight until they worked the seasonal return of AF alongside KLM.

I've heard that AF is completely pulling out of ORD (not just seasonally), gave their staff walking papers, and turned KLM over to Swissport; all to occur after the seasonal pull down. Supposedly DL will permanently run the CDG route for the forseeable future.

Is there any truth to this ORD rumor?
 
ORDJOE
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:40 am

I have been seeing AF metal here during the summer, but I do think you are right that DL is going to be taking over the ORD-CDG route for the time being. I know nothing about the status of the KLM ground crews at ORD as to whether are staying or swiss port nudging them out.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:18 am

It makes some sense to turn the CDG flight over to DL. ORD has not been a strong passenger performer for AF for some time, and I think too much airplane was a large part of the problem. KL has - or has had - the right equipment in the 74M, which sacrifices seats for cargo (where both KL and AF have historically done well ex-ORD), but I wonder whether the 332, which has similar seating capacity but much less cargo capacity, can be successful going forward. Both the 332 (configured 30/27/230) and the 74M (configured 42/36/197) have larger Y cabins than the DL 763 (IINM 30/38/143 in the new configuration).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
jcwr56
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:35 am

Interesting, I know DL is coming back (seasonally) but I'll be making a call tomorrow to find out to what extent.

While the seasonal flight makes sense, I wonder now if DL (if they do decide to take it over 100%) will look to move their departure over to T2. Currently. we have them gated at T5 like they did last year.
 
kyrone
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:00 am

My understanding was AF and DL were supposed to switch off seasonally for a period of years until things evened out for AF, and that the direct AF staff was supposed to continue handling the KLM flight in both AFs on and off season. However if they are laid off, I think that's an indicator.

Additionally, I understand AF leased out their lounge in T5 to WFS. Doesn't look to me like they are invested in ORD at all anymore. ( it was roughly seven years ago they renovated their lounge to a large extent)
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:58 am

It would be a shame to lose AF permanently at ORD to DL, but the business case behind such a move is certainly logical.
Delta isn't a bad carrier in Y, but there is no question that AF's on-board product knocks them out of the park.

Still, it makes me wonder how important SkyTeam considers maintaining any presence on the Chicago to Paris corridor. It's not a high-yielding market by any means....AA doesn't even run a daily flight to Paris from Chicago in the winter time. Would they ever consider dropping it altogether just like EWR? AF is still in pretty bad shape and continues to restructure their network.

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 3):
While the seasonal flight makes sense, I wonder now if DL (if they do decide to take it over 100%) will look to move their departure over to T2. Currently. we have them gated at T5 like they did last year.

Probably not. Esp given the nature of the close-working relationship with KL.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
phxa340
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:00 am

DL Replacing AF On ORD-CDG (by FL787 Jun 11 2011 in Civil Aviation)

Good info here on the matter
 
ericaasen
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:29 am

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 5):
Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 3):
While the seasonal flight makes sense, I wonder now if DL (if they do decide to take it over 100%) will look to move their departure over to T2. Currently. we have them gated at T5 like they did last year.

Probably not. Esp given the nature of the close-working relationship with KL.

That has nothing to do with it. The flight will operate in and out from T5 because we only have 1 gate capable of handling a widebody, E15, and when we have a widebody in 15, E13 is blocked so we'd lose 2 gates for 1 flight. And there is a fear of what would happen in the jetway at 15 went down which is possible since the jetway is quite old.

Plus it's on the airport signage. The billboard for T2 has "Paris flight departs from terminal 5" under Delta.
 
AirGAbon
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:32 pm

UA is very stong on the CDG-ORD market, having even during some periods daily 777s instead of 763s.
And the UA yield from CDG to ORD should be not too bad, as many business people from Paris area are using UA to ORD and the States in J. So I believe they have a good amount of local corporate contracts.

AA is daily on ORD-CDG and will only downgrade to 6 weekly, as they do on many routes from ORD during winter.

AF was for sure, far behind both of them in terms of market share.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:19 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 5):
Delta isn't a bad carrier in Y, but there is no question that AF's on-board product knocks them out of the park.

Aside from catering, where I think the gap has closed quite a bit in recent years, how does AF "knock DL out of the park" in Y? The 763s are ratty for sure, but that is changing.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:06 pm

Quoting ericaasen (Reply 7):
Plus it's on the airport signage. The billboard for T2 has "Paris flight departs from terminal 5" under Delta.

Signage can be replaced easily. It doesn't dictate the rules. But thanks for the info on the gate, I wasn't aware of this. I simply thought it had to do with the fact that AF-KL are one company and for the purposes of station management, it is more efficient to house both airlines in close proximity (check-in counters, elite lounges, etc).

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 8):
AA is daily on ORD-CDG and will only downgrade to 6 weekly, as they do on many routes from ORD during winter.

Actually, it's only going down to 5 weekly between 25JAN 13 and 07FEB13, so it's not going to be too much of a capacity reduction from the AA side during that time frame.

25JAN13 – 07FEB13 Service reduces from daily to 5 weekly (Day x13 from ORD, Day x24 from CDG)

In W11, AA ORDCDG went down to 4w from 11JAN12 to 08FEB12, so not too much of a reduction last year, either.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 9):
Aside from catering, where I think the gap has closed quite a bit in recent years, how does AF "knock DL out of the park" in Y? The 763s are ratty for sure, but that is changing.

I've flown long-haul/intercontinental in both cabins within the past year and there are noticeable differences.

The hard products on Air France are definitely a notch above Delta. The catering is far superior, the seat is comfier, you have access to a full bar, and you're also given nice extras including an amenity kit. IFE is pretty comparable on both.

The soft product is also very different. The AF crews, in my experience, are far more professional and international by way of interacting with their customers. You feel as though you're flying on a global airline when traveling on AF, whereas on Delta, I typically encounter the standard "Americanized" crew that offer nothing really spectacular in terms of service. Not that it is a bad thing, in fact in that very same vein it's really not all that different on UA/CO and AA long-haul flights. But the comparison is between DL and AF not DL and other US airlines. By US standards they meet expectations, but by European standards, they definitely fall short.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
ckfred
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:41 pm

Is the main problem for AF that ORD is a Star and oneworld hub, so that AF gets no connecting traffic at ORD and has to rely solely on O&D traffic on the Chicago end?

By the same token, I know some people who generally fly AA/oneworld or UA/Star out of Chicago. But, if they have to go to Paris, they will try to get on AF, because they have a very good on-board product, especially meal service.
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:11 pm

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 8):
UA is very stong on the CDG-ORD market, having even during some periods daily 777s instead of 763s.
Quoting AirGabon (Reply 8):
AF was for sure, far behind both of them in terms of market share.

I went ahead and checked the data on this and the market share breakdown between the three players is actually fairly evenly split.

In October 2011, right before AF transitioned over the flight to DL, they operated approximately 1,583 weekly seats on average into Chicago, representing 34.3% of the overall market share.

United flew 1,498 (32.5%) and AA 1,533 (33.2%) thereby indicating that AF actually offered the most seats of the three (although ahead by only a small margin).

Delta then took over from 06NOV11 until 17MAR12, offering 1,085 weekly seats. This represented approximately 26.4% of the overall market share on CHIPAR, although the overall share went up to 31.8% during the time frame when AA went down to 4 weekly flights from daily during that one month stretch in the winter.

This past summer, the numbers have pretty much stayed consistent with S11. AF and UA have hovered in the 32% range, and AA in the 35% range. Delta will take over the AF flight once again this winter, but the start date has been shifted up to mid October this time around instead of early November. While I can only see as far ahead as January 2013, it appears that once again, Delta will stay in the 25-30% range while UA and AA will remain in the 35-40% range.

In summary, I don't think that these numbers indicate that AF (DL) has ever been "severely behind" the other two in terms of overall market share.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 11):
Is the main problem for AF that ORD is a Star and oneworld hub, so that AF gets no connecting traffic at ORD and has to rely solely on O&D traffic on the Chicago end?

But AF connects ex-Chicago traffic over their CDG hub, which has its competitive pluses and minuses for AF. On the plus side, it's a draw over AA and UA, but on the minus side, it could also be lower-yielding VFR traffic. Not really sure how the average fare/yield breaks down. All three carriers offer a 2-cabin class combination.

CDG is also a nightmare airport for connections. As much as I enjoyed flying on AF, I did not enjoy my layover experience in Paris.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 11):
By the same token, I know some people who generally fly AA/oneworld or UA/Star out of Chicago. But, if they have to go to Paris, they will try to get on AF, because they have a very good on-board product, especially meal service.

It's always difficult to gauge. In a world where airlines are relying more and more on global alliances and partnerships, customers are gravitating towards sticking with one major alliance for the sake of maintaining elite status levels and reaping the associated benefits from that.

Of course, there are some exceptions. AF has pulled out of EWR and PHL, both Star Alliance hubs, but done very well out of IAD and SFO, also Star hubs, which have received the AF A380 in the past. UA went down to 2x 757 service into Paris from IAD, and just recently announced plans to re-launch SFOCDG.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
kyrone
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:25 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 10):

Unless I'm wrong, I believe AF/KL has one station management team for passenger service in ORD. It's a significant cost saving measure for airlines that belong to each other. As long as the station manager is pro both companies, it's really little difference service wise.

I just think its a shame that one of the few international airlines that still has a good portion of its own staff is leaving. That only leaves BA with all their own staff, AC with all their own staff, and LH with a large quantity of their own staff.

It's difficult to get in with an international carrier at ORD.
 
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AmricanShamrok
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 5):
Probably not. Esp given the nature of the close-working relationship with KL.

DL and KL do maintain a close working relationship but it would be much more convenient from a passenger prospective if the CDG flight departed from Terminal 2. It would mean DL connecting passengers would not have to re-clear security at ORD when transferring to the CDG flight. As stated above though, it's unlikely to move over to T2 due to widebody operational reasons.
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:18 pm

Quoting kyrone (Reply 14):
It's difficult to get in with an international carrier at ORD.

I tend to agree. My mom had to deal with a crisis situation involving Air India which was a complete disaster. Of course, as I should have remembered, most foreign airlines operating in the US do not have US-based customer service agents.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 15):
but it would be much more convenient from a passenger prospective if the CDG flight departed from Terminal 2. It would mean DL connecting passengers would not have to re-clear security at ORD when transferring to the CDG flight.

Out of ORD, Delta flies to ATL, CVG, DTW, MEM, MSP, JFK, LGA and SLC. Of those, only two (LGA and MEM) are not connected by a nonstop flight to CDG on either DL and/or AF.

Based on this fact alone, I would be surprised if a large percentage of the passenger mix of the AF/DL flight on CDGORD comprises of traffic that have originated from any of the Delta hubs given the backtracking involved. I could be proven wrong, however.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 13):
All three carriers offer a 2-cabin class combination.


Correcting myself on this one, as fellow Anet member Chicawgo corrected me in confirming that UA offers a three-class cabin on this route. My apologies.

UA942 ORD1803 - 0925+1CDG 763 D 16F 16C 172Y
UA943 CDG1115 - 1330 ORD 763 D 16F 16C 172Y
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
jcwr56
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 15):
As stated above though, it's unlikely to move over to T2 due to widebody operational reasons.

Yet, when NW operated 005/006 (747), they had no issues using the gates over there and logically, if it does comes to pass DL operating year around, why not upgrade the bridge? DL is considered a non signatory at T5 and their cost are far more higher than AF is as a signatory and if DL can save money using T2, why wouldn't they.
 
kyrone
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:34 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 16):

Its an interesting dynamic. Depending on what ground handler you use, the cost savings between outsourcing and keeping it in house may not be that drastic of a difference- however I think customer service does suffer as ground handling staff do tend to be less motivated when not directly employed by the airline.

I think it's also interesting that you see BA, AF, and LH ground handle other airlines in JFK with their own staff, however to my knowledge BA has not ground handled any other carriers in ORD, and AF only recently handled KL ( previous to that they handled Tarom when they flew ORD) and LH hasn't handled any other airline in ORD since JAL. LH doesn't even handle Swiss.

I would think that LH or AF could have had a decent ground handling business in ORD as they do in JFK. I think BA would be at a bit of a disadvantage in the handling market in ORD. But that scene is pretty much dominated by Swissport anyway.
 
kyrone
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RE: AF And ORD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:40 pm

Is AZ still seasonal as well?
 
ericaasen
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:09 am

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 16):
Based on this fact alone, I would be surprised if a large percentage of the passenger mix of the AF/DL flight on CDGORD comprises of traffic that have originated from any of the Delta hubs given the backtracking involved. I could be proven wrong, however.

There was some connecting pax, but you're right it didn't make up a significant percentage of the load.

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 17):
Yet, when NW operated 005/006 (747), they had no issues using the gates over there and logically, if it does comes to pass DL operating year around, why not upgrade the bridge? DL is considered a non signatory at T5 and their cost are far more higher than AF is as a signatory and if DL can save money using T2, why wouldn't they.

When NW flew ORD-NRT they could park another 747 at E14. When NW downsized the station they subleased the 'even' side of the E concourse to CO. CO changed the jetway at E14 so they could operate RJs and RJs only from that gate, which is still the case now. So the jetway at 14 won't go high enough to reach a widebody. And even when NW used E14 for a 747, they lost the use of E12.

Moving the flight to T2 has its own set of problems however. As I doubt DL would give us 2 sets of loaders or another pushback tractor. So moving the flight would also mean moving the ground equipment back and forth. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's a long way from T5 to T2 as we'd have to use the outer road around the terminals and loaders don't move very fast. That would be a long, cold drive that I don't really want to contemplate.

Personally, I would like to see the flight depart from T2 as long as we had two sets of loaders. It was a bit of a nightmare closing the flight out on the ramp. You needed to use the computer in the bagroom to do so, which meant the lead, mostly me, having to make a few trips back and from from the T5 bagroom to the gate at departure time.

And DL isn't in the habit of spending money it doesn't have to spend, there are other jetways that are in more need of replacement than 15. One is so old I believe the Wright brothers used it to board the Wright Flyer.

Last year it was said that if DL would keep the flight permanently that all options would be looked at from buying E8 from the city to becoming a signatory at T5. The winter schedules could handle the loss of 2 gates for a period of time, but not during the summer. All it takes is a bit of weather at ATL or especially LGA and we suddenly run into gate space issues. So not losing 2 gates for 1 flight would be a good thing. Of course come next summer, US may be vacating its sublease on E7 after it's move to T3 to merge operations with AA and giving us another gate to use.  
 
ORDfan
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:34 am

Quoting ckfred (Reply 11):

By the same token, I know some people who generally fly AA/oneworld or UA/Star out of Chicago. But, if they have to go to Paris, they will try to get on AF, because they have a very good on-board product, especially meal service.

Count me in that camp for sure. Having flown to CDG several times over the past decade and a half out of ORD, I've always insisted on AF non-stop in each instance. I am still disheartened by this news, and I can't believe that AF can't make ORD work. This used to a 744 route for them! I really do hope to see them back shortly....
 
jcwr56
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:55 am

Quoting ericaasen (Reply 20):
You needed to use the computer in the bagroom to do so, which meant the lead, mostly me, having to make a few trips back and from from the T5 bagroom to the gate at departure time.

You can blame me then for M3 usually. If they do plan year around and want to stay at T5, the 764 does give us alittle more flexibility, although you'd hate us if we need a pull to the hardstand next summer.

I have an email down to your corportate folks, although I'm sure Chris knows just to comfirm one way or another.
 
yeogeo
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:48 am

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 16):
UA offers a three-class cabin on this route.
UA942 ORD1803 - 0925+1CDG 763 D 16F 16C 172Y
UA943 CDG1115 - 1330 ORD 763 D 16F 16C 172Y

Actually the international 763's flown on this route are 6F 26C 151Y,
not that it matters much in this discussion  

yeo
One great use of words is to hide our thoughts. Voltaire
 
ericaasen
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:11 am

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 22):
You can blame me then for M3 usually.

So it's YOUR fault then!   Honestly, M3 wasn't so bad with our equipment parked at M2 and it wasn't that bad of a run to the bagroom, the boneyard on the other hand...   And I liked M3 a heck of a lot better than Lake M1 as we started calling it with that seemingly permanent puddle in front of the jetway and almost no space to stage equipment.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:13 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 10):
The AF crews, in my experience, are far more professional and international by way of interacting with their customers. You feel as though you're flying on a global airline when traveling on AF, whereas on Delta, I typically encounter the standard "Americanized" crew that offer nothing really spectacular in terms of service.

I have seen AF employees (both in the air and on the ground at CDG) shouting at passengers probably more often than all US legacies put together. If that's "professional and international," I don't like it. YMMV, of course.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
jcwr56
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:42 pm

So if anyone is curious, it 80% confirmed DL will be operating W12 and onward. Things are being finalized this month so hence the 20% room for it changing.

Sad to see AF go after decades of service to ORD.
 
kyrone
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:18 pm

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 26):

So if anyone is curious, it 80% confirmed DL will be operating W12 and onward. Things are being finalized this month so hence the 20% room for it changing.

Sad to see AF go after decades of service to ORD.

Very true and a shame... Is AZ still seasonal as well?
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting kyrone (Reply 27):
Very true and a shame... Is AZ still seasonal as well?

Yup. It's currently flying 5 weekly until the last week in October.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
goldorak
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RE: AF And ORD

Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:45 pm

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 26):

So if anyone is curious, it 80% confirmed DL will be operating W12 and onward. Things are being finalized this month so hence the 20% room for it changing.

Sad to see AF go after decades of service to ORD.

I sincerely hope you are wrong. AF, please don't stop ORD   
 
WROORD
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RE: AF And ORD

Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:21 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 13):
CDG is also a nightmare airport for connections. As much as I enjoyed flying on AF, I did not enjoy my layover experience in Paris.

I think this is key here. AF prices and to some extend CDG terminal transfer madness pushed more transfer pax to KL via AMS or LH via FRA/DUS/MUC. Also LH and even SAS network covers more places in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Middle East where the transfer traffic would go. A prime example LH flies to 7 cities, SAS to 5 cities in Poland vs. AF to one.

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