It was in Paris on February 19th not far from the Eiffel Tower, that Air France presented their 2014 results. After three years of effort in terms of costs and restructuring, the French national airline had hopes of a return to profit, but it was not to be. Air France recorded an operating loss of over 300 million euros. Main reason: the pilots’ 14 day strike.
Alexandre De Juniac, Chief Executive Officer - Air France KLM Group
"Unfortunately the September Air France strike caused a reduction in our results of more than 400 million euros, unabling Air France to return to the positive in 2014. We very much regret this because it was due to the efforts of the 50,000 employees of Air France, till then, that we were well on the way to returning to profits."
Excluding "a catastrophe", Air France intends, this year, to extricate themselves out of the red zone for good. To achieve this they intend to reduce their costs further by 1.5% per year until 2017. The company is working on a new voluntary redundancy plan for the second half of 2015. 800 positions are affected: 500 ground staff and 300 hostesses and stewards; for the boss of Air France, a necessary "adjustment".
Frédéric Gagey, Chief Executive Officer - Air France
"It's natural to have this sort of thing happening because methods change, new technologies arrive, and I.T. can change certain operational channels, therefore, we must first see this reduction in staff as a new adjustment."
Air France would like to develop automatic check-in desk and baggage drop-off facilities. In continuing with its dynamic and thanks to reports of deliveries of a few new aircraft, the establishment of partnerships with Asian companies, and the development of its maintenance activity, the company could finally return to profits in 2015, something that has not happened in six years, with the possiblity of the Air France – KLM group reducing its debt, which is now around 5.5 billion euros.