bleudefrance
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Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:37 pm

That's something that has always intrigued me.

France has a lot of airline companies but they are all very small, other than AF of course.

All the big European countries have at least one big airline other than their national carrier. Spain has Air Europa and Vueling, Italy has Meridiana/Air Italy, Germany has Air Berlin, the UK has EasyJet, but unfortunetly France has only AF.

Aigle Azur is the second biggest French airline and a historic brand but unfortunately it was always a small company.
 
leftyboarder
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:46 pm

But look at how those other airlines are doing. Air Berlin is about to fail despite investment by Etihad. Vueling belongs to IAG. Meridiana is tiny compared to Alitalia. Only Air Europa can be mentioned as a relatively successful competitor, but that probably happened because before IAG, Iberia was a basket case. In fact the only country where there is a serious competitor that is successful is Norway in my opinion, with Norwegian.
 
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SRQKEF
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:56 pm

It could be argued that FR, U2 and TO (Transavia France) take up that role with FR in particular providing extensive service from France. On the longhaul front, it seems there are a lot of smaller carriers from France or their provinces that all have their niche, such as Corsair, Air Caraibes, Air Austral and Air Tahiti Nui.
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cageyjames
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Quoting bleudefrance (Thread starter):
France has a lot of airline companies but they are all very small, other than AF of course.

Of course there used to be, Air Inter and UTA were both merged into AF. The french government wanted a large flag carrier and maybe in retrospect it was a good idea.
 
diverted
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:03 pm

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 2):
It could be argued that FR, U2 and TO (Transavia France) take up that role with FR in particular providing extensive service from France. On the longhaul front, it seems there are a lot of smaller carriers from France or their provinces that all have their niche, such as Corsair, Air Caraibes, Air Austral and Air Tahiti Nui.

This.
With openskies in Europe, why would you need to? FR, U2, and the like can serve whatever they want.

Not to mention, look at AF's labour issues the past however many years. Rightly or wrongly, if you as an airline executive could avoid those labour issues, why wouldn't you?
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:41 pm

The UK has always had a more liberal approach to airline regulation, hence it's no surprise that 2 of Europe's most successful LCC's are either British (Easyjet) or grew out of the British market (Ryanair),

FR and U2 both have a strong share of the French market, it would be hard for a French LCC newcomer to compete
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eurowings
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:46 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 5):

The UK has always had a more liberal approach to airline regulation, hence it's no surprise that 2 of Europe's most successful LCC's are either British (Easyjet) or grew out of the British market (Ryanair),

FR and U2 both have a strong share of the French market, it would be hard for a French LCC newcomer to compete

Ireland is even more liberal than the UK in terms of airline regulation, hence why Norwegian chose to acquire an AOC in Ireland first rather than the UK.
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IBA346
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:02 pm

The real question is what proportion of the French market is held by Air France, and whether French consumers suffer from the lack of competition in terms of higher prices, connections etc. I don't know the figures but I think U2, FR and VY have made a lot of progress in recent years and things are much more competitive then they were.
 
vv701
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:04 pm

Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 1):
In fact the only country where there is a serious competitor that is successful is Norway in my opinion, with Norwegian.

Both Richard Branson (plus DL) and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of U2 an airline that carried 68,629,825 passengers in the year to 30 September 2015), might dispute what you say. Indeed U2 carries more passengers than either AF or KL but around 10 million less than AF/KL in total.
 
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:45 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 8):

I excluded U2 and FR specifically as they are much more pan-European (although they hold AOC from UK and Ireland) than DY for now. That is of course changing with DY opening up bases in LON (and soon PAR?).
 
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thekorean
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:48 pm

Quoting IBA346 (Reply 7):

But those carriers will never touch long haul routes.
 
scotron11
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:56 pm

Quoting bleudefrance (Thread starter):
France has a lot of airline companies but they are all very small, other than AF of course.

Maybe coz the French government has a stake in AF/KLM stops or retards new entrants...then again, Im sure there would be marching in the streets if it was such a big issue, as they normally do!
 
OSL777FLYER
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:55 am

The French Government has been very protective of AF in the past. As mentioned by other readers UTA and Air Inter were merged into AF, in addition you had AOM which became Air LIB. BA was also involved in a domestic carrier for a while but due to protection from the French government they all had to give up.

There was also an issue with Orly airport, how for a while only long-haul flights to French overseas territories were permitted.

In Germany, AB was initially set up as a charter carrier who then became a low-cost carrier, then due to too rapid of an expansion by purchasing LTU, DBA etc. has "lost" their focus as to "who and what are we?"
 
IPFreely
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:02 am

Quoting bleudefrance (Thread starter):
France has a lot of airline companies but they are all very small, other than AF of course.

Take a look at what it is like to deal with labour unions in France. What non-government subsidized airline can survive with employees like this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHIcMzEYP58

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DB28ugYYWo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWu60917X9k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq9moXJBPUE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY6NlGGe6GI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYDNmyffJQE
 
Aither
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:41 am

How many countries less than 100 millions inhabitants have more than one big carrier ?

And because there is nowhere in France outside of Paris to make a new airline grow.
Yet Paris has not the economic/geographical critical sizes & positions of markets such as Seoul or Tokyo to have more than one dominant airline.

[Edited 2016-04-06 21:41:49]
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Mortyman
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:50 am

Quoting Aither (Reply 14):
How many countries less than 100 millions inhabitants have more than one big carrier ?

Norway:

* SAS with a fleet of 137 aircraft and 104 destinations (domestic, short haul and long haul)

* Norwegian with a fleet of 109 aircraft and 132 destinations (domestic, short haul and long haul)

* Widerøe with a fleet of 42 aircraft and 47 destinations (domestic, and short haul)
 
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:03 am

Norwegian has 109 aircraft in Norway?
 
carl50mq
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:22 am

Quoting bleudefrance (Thread starter):

That is an excellent and very actual question.
Since the end of operations of Air Lib (a merger of AOM and Air Liberté) in 2003, there is no second big French airline company, but multiple small French airlines operating on specific markets.
Nowadays the majority of medium haul traffic is provided by the 2 low cost air carriers Ryanair and Easyjet in addition of Air France, as said earlier in this topic.
There is a published industrial/economical indicator called "le pavillon français" which measures the market share of the French air carriers to/from the French destinations: it declines year by year.
On the long haul market, one year ago, the attempt of consolidation between Air Caraïbes and Corsair has been a chess.
The investors of Air Caraïbes (which is the French private air company making the more profit on the last 5 years) are about to launch this summer a new low fare French air carrier called "French Blue".
The unions call already for a strike on Friday considering the fact that this company is able cannibalize Air Caraïbes activities.
Wait and see...
 
N1120A
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:02 am

Quoting bleudefrance (Thread starter):
All the big European countries have at least one big airline other than their national carrier. Spain has Air Europa and Vueling, Italy has Meridiana/Air Italy, Germany has Air Berlin, the UK has EasyJet, but unfortunetly France has only AF.

The thing is that France has never had a strong LCC emerge.

Quoting OSL777FLYER (Reply 12):
There was also an issue with Orly airport, how for a while only long-haul flights to French overseas territories were permitted.

That isn't the case. Plenty of other airlines flew long haul out of ORY, just not North American ones.

Quoting OSL777FLYER (Reply 12):
In Germany, AB was initially set up as a charter carrier who then became a low-cost carrier, then due to too rapid of an expansion by purchasing LTU, DBA etc. has "lost" their focus as to "who and what are we?"

Remember that Air Berlin has a pretty unique history, not only having been set up as a charter carrier but one that was owned by Americans and flew from West Berlin.
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:13 am

Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 1):
Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 9):

Excluding FR outside of Ireland might make sense from a national sense, but Ryanair is larger in Ireland than Aer Lingus is. Surely that much is relevant?
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PanHAM
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:54 am

....aah, sweet nostalgia, those days when UTA was still around..-----  

guys, we have a single EU market. There ain't no local French, German Spanish etc. markets anymore.

The first who realized that was a certain Mr. Michael O'Leary, followed by Stavros. BA bought into Vueling and even AF is on that path now with Transavia.

Thze market is Europe and there will be some Mergers in the low cost field to come. Might be that Europe Ends up with 3 legacies and their affiliates, 3 to 5 lccs and a number of niche carriers, such as leisure and supplemental carriers
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GCT64
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:17 am

I think there's a big danger when we look at the EU market that on a.net we tend to assess size by numbers of aircraft, pax carried or routes. The fallacy in doing that can be shown by AB who grew to quite a large fleet but haven't had the financial performance to sustain it.

Norwegian (DY, D8) only returned to profitability in 2015 with a pre-tax profit of £70M, meanwhile FR had a pre-tax profit of £982M. Over the last two years (2014 + 2015) Norwegian has been negative in aggregate, while FR has earned around £1.5B and U2 has earned around £1.2B. This is just one comparison, but we do need to look at the financial performance when deciding who is doing well and who is going to survive.
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PanHAM
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:35 am

The quesion is, can Norwegian finance growth with These figures. In case of AB that answer is negative. unless there is a state behind a carrier, such as the ME3 and TK, it will be extremely difficult. Besides EU law does not allow continuing state subsidies.
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N14AZ
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:50 am

Quoting bleudefrance (Thread starter):
That's something that has always intrigued me.

France has a lot of airline companies but they are all very small, other than AF of course.

All the big European countries have at least one big airline other than their national carrier.

Hmmm, and I find it amazing that we still have so MANY airlines in Europe, typically one per Nation, not to mention two major airlines per nation...

Quoting bleudefrance (Thread starter):
Aigle Azur is the second biggest French airline and a historic brand but unfortunately it was always a small company.

That's what I love about a.net - everyday you learn something new. For me Aigle Azur was a rather young Airline, didn't know their history...


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aigle_Azur
 
f4f3a
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:39 pm

This happened because af took over biggest rivals . I'm not sure how the European competition commission approved this.
Also strong local laws mean that to have based crew and aircraft in France you have to abide by local employment law.
That's why Ryanair pulled out. Easyjet were forced to apply them and since are now a big player in that market.
With bases in nce CDg ory tls Lys I'm sure others to follow. Until recently the only comp to them was af so yields have been pretty good and v easy to make money. With the expansion of transavia and veuling and possibly Norwegian this will be harder.

It will be interesting to see What Norwegian do with regard to local contracts. I don't think the French employment law taking too kindly to their current practices . I imagine they will be forced to comply just like easyjet.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:25 pm

The pink elephant in this room is Air Liberté, which at one time was a sizable French carrier. There was a good book written years ago by the founder, Lotfi Belhassine on his problems getting slots at Orly, always playing second fiddle to AF as well as some dark issues he encounters. I think the book may only be in French, but it provides a good insight into what happens when you challenge the flag carrier. It makes me wonder what other companies like Regional Airlines had to endure in the past.
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:43 pm

Quoting Amsterdam (Reply 16):
Norwegian has 109 aircraft in Norway?

They have 109 aircraft in their fleet. What is your point ?
 
MPadhi
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:53 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 26):

They have 109 aircraft in their fleet. What is your point ?

I believe he's arguing that only the part of the fleet that's based in Norway service can be classed as being part of an airline from Norway.
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:41 pm

Quoting MPadhi (Reply 27):
I believe he's arguing that only the part of the fleet that's based in Norway service can be classed as being part of an airline from Norway.

From what I know, 39 of 109 aircraft are registered in Ireland. All their Boeing 787-8 are registered in Norway. Only the so far one Boeing 787-9 is registered in ireland of the long haul aircraft.


I beleave most of SAS aircraft are registered in Norway. No one thinks of SAS as first and foremost a Norwegian airline because of that. Most people will say it's a Swedish airline, because the head office is in Sweden. Norwegian's head office is in Oslo, Norway.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:51 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 20):
Stavros

Stelios  
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 20):
even AF is on that path now with Transavia.

This is also a good point. They leveraged KLM's already successful charter/LCC arm and built a French product with it.

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 28):
Norwegian's head office is in Oslo, Norway.

Which makes them Norwegian.
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AirGAbon
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:20 pm

Also because on the domestic market the train is very powerful. Most of people in France use the high speed train TGV for domestic travels.

Except from Paris to TLS and NCE, the TGV is more efficient than the plane. Soon Paris to BOD will be 2 hours by TGV, it will be the end of AF on that route too.
 
MaxxFlyer
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:39 pm

Quoting MPadhi (Reply 27):
I believe he's arguing that only the part of the fleet that's based in Norway service can be classed as being part of an airline from Norway.

Yep. SAS HQ is not in Norway either. The same could be said of Norwegian aircraft numbers as well. Not all those aircraft touch ground in Norway.
 
vv701
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:24 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 28):
Norwegian's head office is in Oslo, Norway.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
Which makes them Norwegian.

And Air Berlin plc is registered in England - Company no. 5643814. But that does not make them English.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:24 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
Stelios

I knew it was Costa
 
Quoting VV701 (Reply 32):
And Air Berlin plc is registered in England - Company no. 5643814. But that does not make them English.

which tells us that the Brexit could have a double meaning for them.....
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rukundo
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:10 am

In France we have many small airlines, operating sometimes with a bad business plan and short term ambition They can't compete with others airlines

Until late 2000s, Corsair was a loss making charter airline, The airline launched "take off 2012" to become a scheduled airline. They have closed all their routes from Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes. Kenya, Quebec, Israel, Santo Domingo routes were also dropped.

XL Airways has spread its wings to USA and The French Overseas Departments. However, A330s were too big on some markets and point to point traffic was to low to fill their planes on some routes. The airline has suspended its Marseille New York route, while its flights from Paris CDG to Martinique and Guadeloupe are now operated in winter.

Aigle Azur serves mainly Portugal and Algeria. Before, they served Morocco. They have opened some routes in West Africa, to Mali and Senegal. Their Burkina Faso route was dropped. The Bagdad route has never opened

In 2012, they signed a partnership with Hainan Airlines. Plans were to open a Paris Orly- Bejing route, with an Aigle Azur A330. But plans were abandonned.

Aigle Azur has also opened a new route to Moscow, in code share with Transaero. The route was dropped, last year, due to low load factor.

Air Mediterannée closed its doors, in 2016.

Aigle Azur, Corsair, Air Caraibes, XL France should merge to create a strong airline. However, Unions are often against (Corsair Air Caraibes merge) and some CEOs prefer to boost their ego, instead of to merge

[Edited 2016-04-08 00:21:14]
 
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:29 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
Quoting bleudefrance (Thread starter):
All the big European countries have at least one big airline other than their national carrier. Spain has Air Europa and Vueling, Italy has Meridiana/Air Italy, Germany has Air Berlin, the UK has EasyJet, but unfortunetly France has only AF.

The thing is that France has never had a strong LCC emerge.

And French domestic and regional LCCs have something to deal with that others don't: the TGV !!
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
jfk777
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:11 am

France is all about Air France and the "Grandness" of France. If its bad for AF its bad for France. UTA was merged into AF over 20 years ago, it was the only viable other long haul airline. They have never had a "second force" policy like the UK with British Caledonian or Virgin Atlantic. IF the French Government had not "saved" AF it would have joined Pan AM in airline heaven long ago.
 
Flyingsottsman
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:46 pm

Speaking of UTA French Airlines, at the time that AF took them and Air Lib over what was (more so) UTA like money wise
where they in trouble or were financial wise in good shape? I know they had a large route network the US, the French
Territories in the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Australia I saw one of their DC-10s in Sydney back in '1982, and in the early 90s they started services to Melbourne aswell
and also they had their subsidiary Aeromaratime, so were they in good shape and could they have gone on had AF not taken over them?
 
SCQ83
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:23 pm

It is clear that the French government protects Air France at any cost. Travelling from Paris by plane tends to be quite expensive not only compared to London but even to Brussels (I am talking before the attacks), Geneva, Dusseldorf, etc. So it is Air France above the customer choice and freedom.

Quoting AirGAbon (Reply 30):
Also because on the domestic market the train is very powerful. Most of people in France use the high speed train TGV for domestic travels.

Except from Paris to TLS and NCE, the TGV is more efficient than the plane. Soon Paris to BOD will be 2 hours by TGV, it will be the end of AF on that route too.

Also don't forget that coach operators were forbidden until recently (as well as private train companies), so train tickets in France are very expensive and pretty much the only way to travel between cities. Then of couse French do everything they can to inconvenience people flying. Airports in France are dirty (ORY or CDG are two dumps), far from the city and/or expensive (think of RER B in Paris or that hyper expensive train in Lyon... and by car is not any better)...

So even if TGV trains (I tell this as a Grand Voyageur) literally stink, have no security against terrorist attacks and delays are a common occurence (whatever can happen when travelling in a train in France), it is still a better option than flying.
 
TYCOON
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:27 pm

This thread is interesting and amusing... reading the responses of alot of the contributors with the usual French bashing and little in the way of intelligent analysis.
I actually wrote my Masters thesis at MIT on this subject - basically comparing the development of the air transport industry in the U.S., the U.K. and France. Why in one (the USA) did a number of airlines develop and thrive and in the two others (UK and France) only one really thrived in the end.
It was all a question of air transport policy decisions and the "chosen instrument" / "flag carrier" approach.
UK and France had a very similar approach compared to the US which favoured the development of a plethora of airlines going back to the Brown Act (giving air mail contracts to a number of different airlines and not just one or two in order to encourage the development of many carriers).
The UK and France favoured one airline: BA (BOAC) and AF. It is risible that people think Virgin is a real competitor to BA... they only serve a handful of destinations with no European/Regional feed.
I have read an analyzed the Merger and Monopolies Commission on the merger of BA and BCal... it is obvious the government was doing everything to favour a stronger BA to face the other European carries on the eve of European wide deregulation.
France did the same...AF/UTA/IT (remember, this merger happened after BA/BCal).
Air Liberté and AOM/Minerve failed NOT because the government put roadblocks but because they were simply very poorly managed airlines. I've read Lofti's book... alot of wining, little substance...In fact AOM was owned for a while by Crédit Lyonnais, the French government owned bank!
So to get back to the thread... Why no big French [British] airlines other than AF [BA]? Policy legacies... concerted effort on the part of both the UK and French governments to favour the development of one national airline, versus favouring a plural market approach as in the U.S.
I could go on... my thesis was some 300+ pages... but I'll stop here.
 
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viasa
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:13 pm

On Intra-France flights we have the following percentage (by capacity), 1st ex. France, 2nd ex Paris:

- Air France: 54% (81%)
- HOP!: 18% (2%)
- easyJet: 13% (11%)
- Air Corsica: 7% (5%)
- Volotea: 4% (-)
- Ryanair: 2% (1%)

On flights from France to destinations in Europe (incl. France) we have the following percentage (by capacity):

- Air France: 34% (45%)
- easyJet: 15% (12%)
- HOP!: 8% (1%)
- Ryanair: 6% (5%)
- Vueling: 4% (6%)
- Air Corsica: 3% (1%)
 
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ro1960
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:10 pm

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 38):
Also don't forget that coach operators were forbidden until recently

Could you please mention your sources? I am not aware of this fact although I live in France.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 38):
(as well as private train companies)

There is no private domestic train operator in France. The opening of the market has been delayed to 2019.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 38):
so train tickets in France are very expensive

What do you call expensive? You can easily get a €70 roundtrip Paris-Lyon. I'd say it's a reasonable price. Of course last minute tickets at peak hours are more expensive, but so are air tickets.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 38):
Airports in France are dirty (ORY or CDG are two dumps)

So even if TGV trains (I tell this as a Grand Voyageur) literally stink

How often did you visit France to make this a generality?
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mercure1
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:23 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 36):
France is all about Air France and the "Grandness" of France. If its bad for AF its bad for France. UTA was merged into AF over 20 years ago, it was the only viable other long haul airline. They have never had a "second force" policy like the UK with British Caledonian or Virgin Atlantic. IF the French Government had not "saved" AF it would have joined Pan AM in airline heaven long ago.

Non sense.

You realize French government in 1990s privatized Air France right, share are publicly traded. French state only retain small minority share in the company.
The French state did not "save" the company, instead if opened the doors to global competition against airline.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 38):
It is clear that the French government protects Air France at any cost. Travelling from Paris by plane tends to be quite expensive not only compared to London but even to Brussels (I am talking before the attacks), Geneva, Dusseldorf, etc. So it is Air France above the customer choice and freedom.

I dont see French government protecting Air France at all. Matter of fact French state has continued to encourage competition against AF via market policies, deregulation, anti AF employee union social policies, investments in infrastructure facilities, etc

There is very competitive market place in France(one of the largest airline markets in the world), lots of airline choice. I dont personally care or fly AF much, and not ever felt that I dont have good reasonable alternative choices.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 38):
Also don't forget that coach operators were forbidden until recently (as well as private train companies), so train tickets in France are very expensive and pretty much the only way to travel between cities. Then of couse French do everything they can to inconvenience people flying. Airports in France are dirty (ORY or CDG are two dumps), far from the city and/or expensive (think of RER B in Paris or that hyper expensive train in Lyon... and by car is not any better)...

So even if TGV trains (I tell this as a Grand Voyageur) literally stink, have no security against terrorist attacks and delays are a common occurence (whatever can happen when travelling in a train in France), it is still a better option than flying.

Maybe you should avoid France if its so miserable for you.

[Edited 2016-04-09 08:29:25]
mercure f-wtcc
 
konrad
Posts: 560
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:46 pm

Quoting cageyjames (Reply 3):
Of course there used to be, Air Inter and UTA were both merged into AF. The french government wanted a large flag carrier and maybe in retrospect it was a good idea.

Let's not forget Air Littoral, Air Liberte and AOM who all went down in the Qualiflyer fiasco.
 
bleudefrance
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:55 pm

Quoting TYCOON (Reply 39):

What a great post! Thank you very much! I fully agree with you!
 
bleudefrance
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:08 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 36):

When was AF saved by the French Government?

I think that until the AF447 crash (2009), AF had been the biggest and the most important European airline.

[Edited 2016-04-09 13:12:51]
 
okapi
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:57 pm

Well, on many short european routes (AMS, BRU, LON, GVA, LUX, FRA) the high-speed train network makes much more sense than flying. There is no need for an Air France 2 in the skies and all other competing airlines do so on niche market with more or less success. Openskies, all airlines flying to the French overseas territories, low-cost of all sorts like easyJet and Vueling.
France is not that big a country in terms of population and the most important destinations remain Paris and the French Riviera. There's enough competition on these routes to prevent the creation of another frenchy airline.
 
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ro1960
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:46 am

Quoting bleudefrance (Reply 44):
Reply 39

Great post indeed. Thanks.
You may like my airport photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aeroports
 
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ro1960
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:47 am

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 42):
Maybe you should avoid France if its so miserable for you.

  
You may like my airport photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aeroports
 
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ro1960
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RE: Why No Big French Airlines Other Than AF?

Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:15 am

Quoting okapi (Reply 46):
France is not that big a country in terms of population

It's the fourth largest population if you include Russia and Turkey in the ranking, but otherwise the second largest after Germany. I wouldn't say that 66+ million inhabitants is "not that big a country in terms of population".

Quoting okapi (Reply 46):
the most important destinations remain Paris and the French Riviera. There's enough competition on these routes to prevent the creation of another frenchy airline.

In terms of domestic traffic, let's not forget ORY-TLS, the number one route in Europe at 2.3 million passengers. ORY-NCE is third at 2 million. As you say there is enough competition on these markets, but it's from U2, a foreign carrier. I believe U2 is the number one airline at NCE. I don't see TO catching up anytime soon, unfortunately.
You may like my airport photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aeroports

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