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May 20, 2011

Delta, Air France KLM and Alitalia Slash Service Citing High Fuel Costs

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Delta Air Lines, Air France KLM, and Alitalia on Thursday announced a year-over-year 7 to 9 percent reduction in trans-Atlantic passenger capacity this fall between Europe and the United States and Canada, as the airlines respond to a significant increase in jet fuel prices and fluctuating seasonal demand.

KLM SkyTeam Boeing 777

The four members, which make up the trans-Atlantic joint venture that counts with more than 260 daily flights and a fleet of 144 aircraft, also announced that they would adjust their combined network and decrease capacity by reducing frequency on selected routes during the fall and winter seasons.

In addition, the airlines said they would right-size the joint venture fleet across the Atlantic while introducing seasonal flying to warm weather destinations.

“Our alliance allows us to make strategic decisions about our network and operate as a single airline on trans-Atlantic flights,” said Bruno Matheu, executive vice president – Marketing, Revenue Management and Network for Air France KLM. “Combining our efforts, we are able to leverage the benefits of the joint venture to respond to economic and external cost pressures.”

Since its inception, the joint venture has introduced more than 5,000 joint sales contracts for trade and corporate partners across Europe and the U.S., and has formed joint pricing and revenue management units, helping strengthen its competitive position on the trans-Atlantic.

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  • This is a very interesting development. I’m sure the reduction in service and fuel prices will inevitably lead to hire airfare prices. One has to wonder what Delta’s approach will be given that international routes are the most profitable for it.

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