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October 22, 2021

Air France-KLM Romania posts 30 pc incomes decline at nine months

Air France-KLM airline posted, for January-September 2009, a 30 pc decline year-on-year in its incomes from routes starting and ending in Romania. The main reason for this decline is represented by the price cuts up to 60 pc operated by airline operators, against the background of the global economic crisis.

“In terms of number of the passengers we carried to and from Romania, we had a 3 pc increase, but because of a 30-60 pc reduction of fares, incomes decreased by 30 pc,” Air France-KLM Romania country manager Alexandru Dobrescu yesterday told the celebration event held for the 90th anniversary of the company.

Air France-KLM went to great lengths to keep constant the number of Business Class passengers – the segment worst hit by the fare cuts operated by airlines. “The number of passengers traveling at Business Class on the routes to and from Romania remained constant, but the price of tickets in this segment fell by a at least EUR 100,” the Air France KLM official explained. According to the statement made by the Air France Romania boss, airline industry will go through a stabilizing period, but recovery is still far.

“Companies won’t resume too soon their travel habits from the previous years, and travel budgets will be reduced to minimum in 2010 too,” Dobrescu warned. The purpose of fare cuts is to preserve market share in Romania – which is also the main goal of the French-Dutch company this year.

“At the peak of the crisis, market share, rather than profit is the most important indicator, and we want to end 2009 with a market share at least equal to last year’, at 18 pc,” the Air France KLM official said. The income decrease reported by the company is in line with the general decline of aviation market in Romania, he added. The company might have even had a bigger market share, due to its joint-venture agreement with Delta Airlines, for direct flights to certain destinations, but Delta withdrew from the country in September, when it decided to resize its presence in several countries, Romania included, because of the global crisis.

June’s tragedy, when an Airbus A330 belonging to Air France crashed in the Atlantic with the loss of over 200 lives, did not make Romanian clients avoid the company. On the contrary, they remained faithful to the services of the French air carrier, as proven by talks through call-centers. “It was a big imbalance between the high media coverage, in Romania at least, compared to the reaction of travelers,” Dobrescu pointed out.

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