Partnership with Alitalia, one year on
Tuesday 30, March 2010
Just over a year ago, in January 2009, Air France-KLM signed an agreement with Alitalia strengthening their strategic partnership, along with a minority 25% stake in the Italian airline. The aim was to offer customers from all three airlines the best possible service between Europe and the rest of the world, thanks in particular to a vest network based on a unique combination of connecting hubs all over Europe.
Since then, Air France and Alitalia have, for example, developed code-share agreements and set up fare combinability. In this way, to certain destinations served by all three airlines, customers can choose between a flight with a connection at KLM's hub in Amsterdam-Schiphol, a connection at Air France's hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, or a trip with a connection at Alitalia's hub in Rome.
Other major benefits have been introduced over the past year, such as the setting up of two "neighbourly" joint ventures between Italy and The Netherlands and France respectively, resulting in the sharing of revenue and costs on both markets as well as route optimization and the commercialization of Alitalia's hold space by Air France-KLM for the transport of cargo, which has become a cargo handling agent for the Italian airline worldwide.
2010 will see an acceleration of these joint projects, particularly where sales and quality of service is concerned.
Air France, KLM and Alitalia offer "joint contracts" for companies and travel agents in eleven countries with a wider and more financially attractive offer. In 2011, "joint contracts" will be on offer in over 20 countries. Alitalia will also be joining BlueBiz, Air France-KLM's frequent flyer programme for SMEs, of which there are many in Italy.
In 2010, Air France and Alitalia will be extending services between Italy and France, with the introduction of the "hubway" concept between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Rome-Fiumicino which already exists between Paris and Amsterdam. There will also be more frequencies to Milan, with 10 daily flights instead of 8 between Milan-Linate, the airport of choice for Business travellers, and the two Paris airports at Charles de Gaulle and Orly , in addition to the 4 flights between Milan-Malpensa and Paris-CDG.
As the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games draw to a close, London 2012 organisers have been taking advantage of the final opportunity to experience and learn from an Olympic Games, before London becomes the next Olympic Host City.
As the 21st Winter Olympic Games wind down in Vancouver, my thoughts naturally turn to the 22nd Winter Olympic Games scheduled for February 7 through 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. 2014 will mark the first time that Russia will host the Winter Games – Moscow hosted the Summer Games in 1980.
Even in these difficult economic times, companies are still seeing value in business aviation and are looking to increase business jet travel in 2010.