Jetty
Topic Author
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting Amsterdam (Reply 99):This has not happened.

True, but they voted in favor of proposal to do so. So only a matter of time. Source (Dutch): http://zakenreis.nl/luchtvaart/klm-p...-protocol-met-collegas-air-france/

DDR
Posts: 1632
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting Jetty (Reply 98):

Good for them. The best thing KLM can do is distance themselves as far from AF as possible. Too bad DL has to cooperate with AF instead of just KLM.

hooverman
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting mozart (Reply 96):Quite loud mouthed to call it ridiculous, but if you were so kind to share with us how looking at ASK, RSK, load factors tells you something about profitability?

Why look at the numbers that are not given?
Most of the the numbers that we do have (see Factsonly reply 62) clearly shows KL is doing better.
You then don't have to be a financial advisor to come to the conclusion one is making more money then the other.
Look at the money lost at strikes at AF. Loadfactors or ASK, RSK can't compensate that.

mozart
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting hooverman (Reply 102):Why look at the numbers that are not given? Most of the the numbers that we do have (see Factsonly reply 62) clearly shows KL is doing better. You then don't have to be a financial advisor to come to the conclusion one is making more money then the other. Look at the money lost at strikes at AF. Loadfactors or ASK, RSK can't compensate that.

Profitability is determined by the difference between cost and revenue. You don't have those numbers. So you can't tell which airline is more profitable.

The numbers above say what? That KLM has added more passengers compared to before (% growth), has added more capacity, and has a higher load factor. How does that tell you that the company is more profitable?

As an example: a startup airline that flies two flights a month with a newly acquired A319 with 100 seats and transports 98 pax on each on of those flights, and then the following month adds a second A319 with 100 seats, fly two more flights a month and again transport 98 pax on each of those flights...

...compare that to an established airline that flies 250 A319s in a configuration of 150 pax, transporting on average 125 pax on every flight, planes in the air 14 hours in the air, and then adds 5 A319s with 150 pax capacity each and transporting 125 pax on average on every flight..

The numbers are:

Airline 1 has a load factor of 98%, ASK growth of 100%, RSK growth of 100%
Airline 2 has a load factor 83%, ASK growth of 2%, RSK growth of 2%

For you, this is enough to conclude that airline 1 is more profitable, because it has a higher load factor, higher passenger growth, higher capacity growth.

I say I don't know which one is more profitable. Maybe Airline 2 is more profitable because 10% of its passengers have bought business class tickets with a very high profit and the remaining tickets are at a high price because the airline flies on routes with low competition and high demand, whilst airline 1 sells its tickets at a discount price just to fill its planes. And maybe airline 1 has leased its planes and pays very high leasing rates for brand new A319s, whilst airline 2 may have bought its planes and written off many of them already, so depreciation doesn't impact the bottom line. And the fact that airline 1 flies each of its planes only on two flights a month and airline 2 flies its planes 14 hours a day certainly does have an impact.

Conclusion: I don't know which airline is more profitable, because I am missing important information. But I do know that we don't know because profitability cannot be inferred from the performance numbers given above. Saying the opposite is, well, as you said, ridiculous.

 Quoting alfa164 (Reply 97):No... because KLM and its personnel are capable of operating an airline without continuous bickering, confrontation, and determination to shove their own selfish interests above

Nobody argues that KLM and its staff are more reliable and don't strike, etc. But decisions on where to deploy investment capital are driven by prospects of profitability, not by who is a good boy. Reliability is a factor, sure, but only insofar as it impacts profitability. So your criteria for why KLM should grow more is irrelevant.

 Quoting alfa164 (Reply 97):"Successful" because KLM is flying reliably and profitably... while its partner is "unsuccessful" at keeping is planes in the air - when random strikes and protests abound - and is dragging down the corporation as a whole.

See above, irrelevant for the deployment of investment capital.

[Edited 2016-06-10 17:56:10]

factsonly
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

Now that the AF pilots of the French SNLP Pilot Union are on strike and publicly turn against their Dutch colleagues, the KLM pilots of Netherlands Pilot Association VNV propose to cancel their 2005 'Pilots Protocol 2' agreement with their AF colleagues.

The key objectives of Pilots Protocol 2 are:

1. To ensure that the pilots groups are not played one against the other.
2. To ensure that pilot job opportunities and future growth in flying are fairly shared between both pilot groups.
3. To describe the procedural steps to be followed in the case of operational integration of both companies, with the aim of integrating the pilot work force resulting in strengthening the pilot’s position in the integrated company.

The question remains whether Point 2 of this agreement is being broken here, when AF pilots do not implement their own productivity improvements agreed with AF Management, while all other AF and KL staff do implement according to their respective labour agreements.

https://www.vnv.nl/news/air-france-and-klm-pilots-sign-pilots-protocol-2

BestWestern
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

I say this as a AF KL passenger that has a Platinum for life status earned by being a loyal frequent long Haul J class passenger.

I no longer book AF as I cannot rely of the service.

Shame on the AF pilots and crew that are striking and driving such a fantastic company into the ground.

Compare this to Iberia, which had a similar tarnished history and is now flourishing.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.

petertenthije
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting mozart (Reply 103):The numbers above say what? That KLM has added more passengers compared to before (% growth), has added more capacity, and has a higher load factor. How does that tell you that the company is more profitable?

Load factors mean nothing, however, added capacity says everything. The board of directors, who of course do have the profitability numbers, decided that KLM should grow faster. They would not do that if Air France is more profitable.
Attamottamotta!

AF185
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting BestWestern (Reply 105):Shame on the AF pilots and crew that are striking and driving such a fantastic company into the ground.

Why exactly do you include the crew in your statement? There has been more than 10,000 voluntary redundancies in the airline since 2010 mainly from the crew, whom I cannot recall going on any strike in the last years?
The only ones not doing their share of "sacrifices" in this company are AF pilots who take advantage of their dominant position to sabotage all the efforts from the other categories

AF is indeed a fantastic airline, but is unfortunately driven by inconsiderate pilot unions who actually think they are the ones who should dictate the future strategy of the Group

As for all the comments here always claiming how great KL is as opposed to AF, it is simply very short sighted as KL would not be what it is today without AF. That being said, it is obvious KL has made its transformation way earlier and was more prompt to accept changes.

alfa164
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting AF185 (Reply 107):Why exactly do you include the crew in your statement? There has been more than 10,000 voluntary redundancies in the airline since 2010 mainly from the crew, whom I cannot recall going on any strike in the last years? The only ones not doing their share of "sacrifices" in this company are AF pilots who take advantage of their dominant position to sabotage all the efforts from the other categories AF is indeed a fantastic airline, but is unfortunately driven by inconsiderate pilot unions who actually think they are the ones who should dictate the future strategy of the Group As for all the comments here always claiming how great KL is as opposed to AF, it is simply very short sighted as KL would not be what it is today without AF. That being said, it is obvious KL has made its transformation way earlier and was more prompt to accept changes.

Thank you for your insight. It is a shame that a small group of self-entitled pilots - who are undoubtedly already the highest-paid work group - choose to blacken the operations and reputation of a once-great airline.
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blueflyer
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting petertenthije (Reply 106):Load factors mean nothing, however, added capacity says everything. The board of directors, who of course do have the profitability numbers, decided that KLM should grow faster. They would not do that if Air France is more profitable.

Again, it does not. Try as hard as you might, there is not enough public information to conclude that one is more profitable than the other.

Adding capacity in one subsidiary and not another could simply mean the board thinks the market is tapped out from CDG and not from AMS. KLM serves 130 destinations, Air France about 180 (I think). Air France could be more profitable than KLM (not likely, I'd agree, but not impossible) and yet if no new market exists out of CDG, KLM's capacity will increase faster...
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Aesma
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting mozart (Reply 96):Why should countries with an attractive tax regime abandon it and move to the high tax regime of France? Why doesn't France move to the more attractive regime? Why no French sandwich?

I talked about unifying. I don't care if it's more like the Netherlands or like France, as long as it's the same.

"Attractive tax regimes" are simply stealing money from other countries. If France reduced its taxes without a previous unifying accord, the Netherlands would just lower their own taxes, there would be no point.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams

lightsaber
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting Jetty (Reply 98): The KL pilots union has withdrawn from a cooperation protocol with the AF unions, calling their behavior 'destructive'. According to the KL pilots their AF colleagues "refuse to take responsibility for their own company while the situation demands measures to be taken".

Wow... That is huge.

 Quoting petertenthije (Reply 106):The board of directors, who of course do have the profitability numbers, decided that KLM should grow faster. They would not do that if Air France is more profitable.

Since AMS and CDG have about the same room to grow, that cements the debate in favor of KL making more money. The BoD is incentivise by profit growth, so they will bias investment in their own interests. With the high French investment, this speaks volumes.

Lightsaber
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Amsterdam
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting lightsaber (Reply 111):Quoting Jetty (Reply 98): The KL pilots union has withdrawn from a cooperation protocol with the AF unions, calling their behavior 'destructive'. According to the KL pilots their AF colleagues "refuse to take responsibility for their own company while the situation demands measures to be taken". Wow... That is huge.

Like I said, this has not happened.

workhorse
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

I am a French citizen, living mostly in France, and I boycott Air France.

I used to like them a lot (and, as a matter of fact, I still find most of their FA's outstanding), but this attitude of pilot unions is unacceptable.

If any of AF striking pilots read this, please, receive this message from your customers: we DO have other choices!

lightsaber
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting mozart (Reply 96):Why should KLM grow faster than AF? Because its *revenue* and *pax numbers* grow faster? Absolutely not!! You want to dedicate capital for growth to the more profitable entitiy, and from the numbers there is no way to tell which entity is more profitable.

We can disagree. I believe there is enough circumstantial evidence, including where the AFKLM BoD directs resources to indicate KL is the more profitable entity.

Either way, AFKLM's profits are not sufficient. They are not building a cash cushion during these good times for the bad times. Change must come. The unions can either do it in the good times when it isn't that painful, or during the bad times the change will be harsh to both entities.

Personally, having such closed books is a bad sign. Most other airlines I can go through their annual reports and discern general profit centers, areas of weakness, and what has improved. I cannot tell in AFKLM's statements what they have improved over the last 3 years with enough fidelity to believe they are a numbers run company. If they're not being 'numbers run,' then they do not even know where they can improve.

Lightsaber
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lightsaber
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

IM messages to mods on warnings and bans will be ignored and nasty ones will result in a ban.

mozart
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting blueflyer (Reply 109):Again, it does not. Try as hard as you might, there is not enough public information to conclude that one is more profitable than the other. Adding capacity in one subsidiary and not another could simply mean the board thinks the market is tapped out from CDG and not from AMS. KLM serves 130 destinations, Air France about 180 (I think). Air France could be more profitable than KLM (not likely, I'd agree, but not impossible) and yet if no new market exists out of CDG, KLM's capacity will increase faster...

+1

 Quoting petertenthije (Reply 106):Load factors mean nothing, however, added capacity says everything. The board of directors, who of course do have the profitability numbers, decided that KLM should grow faster. They would not do that if Air France is more profitable.
 Quoting lightsaber (Reply 111):Since AMS and CDG have about the same room to grow, that cements the debate in favor of KL making more money. The BoD is incentivise by profit growth, so they will bias investment in their own interests. With the high French investment, this speaks volumes.

See my above example in post 103. You cannot conclude things that easily.

 Quoting lightsaber (Reply 114):Either way, AFKLM's profits are not sufficient. They are not building a cash cushion during these good times for the bad times. Change must come. The unions can either do it in the good times when it isn't that painful, or during the bad times the change will be harsh to both entities.

There we 100% agree!!

bennett123
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

Seems there is not sufficient to know if the AF pilots have any case.

Have they produced any evidence to support their claim.

Jetty
Topic Author
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting bennett123 (Reply 117):Seems there is not sufficient to know if the AF pilots have any case. Have they produced any evidence to support their claim.

The case of AF pilots isn't related to efficiency or profitability. They simply demand that growth is equal among KL and AF regardless of where most profit is being made, and even ignoring if the added flights at AF even make a profit at all (doubtful when adding the demanded 25% long haul capacity).

This claim (while pointless) is easy to support with public traffic figures, that show KL did indeed grow much faster than AF.

mozart
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

... the level of economic, business and finance illiteracy in this thread is just mindboggling.

I am familiar with Brealy-Myers work on Corporate Finance, with Ronald Coase's Nobel Prize winning work on the Theory of the Firm and with the material taught at INSEAD, HBS, Columbia and Stanford. I now discover that there also must be another Theory of Business whose central thesis is "Adding more capacity is a sign of higher profitability". This school of thought is (apparently) of particular prominence in the Netherlands and with armchair CEOs.

To prove their theory, adepts of this school of thought point to the example of KLM, a Dutch airline, that has expanded capacity faster than a sister company in the same holding, Air France. There are no profitability numbers available for either company, but here the second principle of the "Dutch School of Business" applies: "In the absence of quantitative evidence we assume the result is what we want it to be". This principle is extended to systematically neglecting contradicting quantitative evidence where it exists. For instance, proponents still struggle to explain why Lufthansa has reduced capacities and still increased profits in fiscal year 2015 (see here http://investor-relations.lufthansag...H-APC-2016-charts-Spohr-Menne.pdf)

But regurgitating "KLM is more profitable than Air France because it has added capacity" is so much simpler to understand for those who actually don't understand, so that is the mantra.

If you want to get the quick understanding of why operating measures cannot be translated into financial performance, read post 103. If you want to know a little more, ask any small business around your corner (bakery, flower shop, hairdresser) why just making his shop bigger is not necessarily the sign of healthy profitability but may indeed lead to more problems.

Amsterdam
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

Maybe Air France is making huge profits for years now, but billions have been fraudulently taken out of the company by managers and accountants. We can't prove here this hasn't happened.

alfa164
Posts: 3023
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting mozart (Reply 119):.. the level of economic, business and finance illiteracy in this thread is just mindboggling.

Please spare us your righteous indignation. I am sure Mssr. Coase never had to run an airline.

Let's go back to Economics 101:

!) AF staff - and French airport workers - seem to love to strike; ergo:
2) Passengers want to avoid AF and France for travel.

Then there is Business 101:

1) Corporations are run by their officers and managers;
2) Those officers and managers duties are to provide for the best interests of the corporation and its shareholders.

Got it so far? Okay, then:

1) The pilots are - by their own admission - striking over their own self-interests.
2) The pilots failed to meet the terms of the agreements that they (and all other personnel at AF) made previously.

Ergo:

1) The pilots are not concerned about the best interests of the company; they are "in it for themselves".
2) AF/KLM management will - and should - direct resources to whichever side serves the best interests of the corporation.

Okay... class dismissed...

[Edited 2016-06-13 09:06:18]
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thaiflyer
Posts: 335
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

According to the Dutch newspapers the plan to transfer flights from KLM to AF is cancelled.
The French government and the AF/KLM management confirmed that the flight transfer is not on the table anymore.
According the AF/KLM management this was never promised to the unions.
Source: http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/2..._geen_KLM-vluchten_afpakken__.html

Pihero
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting alfa164 (Reply 121):Let's go back to Economics 101:
 Quoting alfa164 (Reply 121):Then there is Business 101:

I'de be ashamed of attending that class of yours were my age above 7.

Actually, Mozart has a very valid point, economicvlly-wise.
Trying to argue against him with *circumstancial evidence* or misstated syllogisms / deductive reasoning isfraught with a lot of failings.

As a matter of fact, this is just a matter of french /bias/bashing which suits about everybody.
( and, BTW, I was, have been the first member to point at the favour tre"atment KLM got in terms of ASM / production/new airplanes/ lines, so I cannot be called anti- anything on the AF-KL subject.)

Finally, I'd like to point at a small aspect of airline management(s) in the US where everybody seems to think they 've always been the angels of profitabilitry :
There is a huge advantage there, used by E-VE-RY airline in the past ten-twelve years, and it's c alled *chapter 11*, and among all its beauties, it allows an failed company to start from scratch,on a clean slate after an official bankruptcy.
That allowed, among other things the management of oner of the biggest airlines to dispose of all the pension funds of its employees.
That sort of set up doesn't exist in the EU ( just declaring bankruptcy is rather difficult and once declared is final ).
Had most the European companies had an access toi that scheme, their outlook would be quite a lot different.
In the mean time, a modicum of balance of view is in order.
Contrail designer

Jetty
Topic Author
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting Pihero (Reply 123):As a matter of fact, this is just a matter of french /bias

Sadly the AF pilots try very hard to prove every bias against France right

mozart
Posts: 2154
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting alfa164 (Reply 121):

Oh my, where to start...

1) You miss the point. I was not saying that AFKL should invest into the AF unit. I was responding to those that read the numbers in post 62 in a way that allowed to conclude that KL is more profitable than AF. I argued and proved that the numbers in post 62 do not allow to draw that conclusion. I did not argue that AF is more profitable, I argued that one can't tell based on those numbers, because to determine profitability you need to look at revenue and cost, neither of which were mentioned in post 62. There are many possible explanations why capacity growth at AF was more modest, and I mentioned the example of the Lufthansa Group of airlines which SHRUNK their capacity but INCREASED their profit. There is absolutely no link between capacity growth and profitability.
And for the record: I do not support the AF pilots' strike. I think they are egoistic, and I think that their understanding of the business and financial impacts is as poor as many of the posts here that I was reacting to.

2) Prof Coase never run an airline, no. But that doesn't make his nor Economics 101 and other simple arithmetics of counting money untrue, unless you prove to me that the airline business is the ONLY industry where profit is not the difference between revenue and cost. That is true for EVERY business, be it an international airline or the flower shop on the corner of the street.
As pointed out several times, the numbers given further up have neither revenue nor cost, so there is no way to tell profit.

3) Economics 101, which I happened to have taught at one point, does not deal with the aspects that you mention. But there are other economic theories that can be applied in such a situation, but none makes the intellectual shortcut that you are making of "do not invest in the unit where people look after their own interests". It is one of the core points of the principal agent problem. And applying it would NOT come to the conclusion that investing in a unit where people pursue their own interests is a bad thing.

We may all have a hunch about which airline has lower unit production cost once you strip out overhead charges, who can be allocated somewhat arbitrarily in a holding company. But looking at one quarter of capacity and load factor - not even a time series, but just one quarter! - does not give that kind of information.

Pihero
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### RE: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

 Quoting Jetty (Reply 124): Sadly the AF pilots try very hard to prove every bias against France right

Even more sadly, do you really need an alibi ?
(I didn't think so... )

and how many times have you flownj Air France ?
Contrail designer

Nola
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### Re: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

mozart
Posts: 2154
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

### Re: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

Strike called off, but they have still lost money.

Numerous travelers will have re-booked already on other airlines for fear of being stuck, AF itself had already started to offer rebookings, and other people didn't even book AF in the first place. Plus some people that for fear of another strike later in the summer have made bookings on other airlines even outside the announced strike days. All these costs are never fully accounted for. Calling off a strike vs. actually pulling it through has one big disadvantage, you can't count the costs and then afterwards fingerpoint the stupid unions and confront them with the damage they have inflicted. Much more difficult when a strike is called off, the damage (albeit less) to the company's finances has been done, but the unions will shrug shoulders and say "not us, we didn't go on strike".

In any case, the strike not happening is the result of only a moratorium, that lasts until 1st November. The incoming group CEO has asked the unions not to go on strike, in return he has promised not to implement the measures to increase productivity that the pilots are (amongst other things) on strike against. Let's see what happens then.

alfa164
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### Re: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

mozart wrote:
. The incoming group CEO has asked the unions not to go on strike, in return he has promised not to implement the measures to increase productivity that the pilots are (amongst other things) on strike against. Let's see what happens then.

Hadn't those "measures to increase productivity" already been agreed to by the pilots... until they decided to strike against the same agreements they had accepted?
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TYCOON
Posts: 476
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### Re: New Strike Of AF Pilots To Restore Balance With KL

As a Flying Blue Platinum for Life frequent flyer of Air France, and a big fan of its recent service improvements on the ground and in the air, I have already booked over 40 flights between now and the end of the year (and this doesn't count any last minute business trips) and only three of them did I book with Air France, and none through the summer season. I'm not taking a risk. Air France pilots are a selfish and arrogant bunch... glorified bus drivers in my view - who feel entitled.

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