Direct Flights: An Attempt to Regain Market Share by Air France
Air France on October 2nd, 2011 started operating out of Marseille as its regional base. It was implemented because of decentralized strategy of Air France. Air France already operates 12 non-stop flights from Marseille of which nine are domestic and three are international. 13 new non-stop routes have been added from Marseille. Air France has introduced these new non-stop flights from Marseille with aim of operational costs by 15%. 130 pilots and 250 cabin crew have volunteered to be based in Marseille as a part of Air France’s measures to reduce operational costs. Air France is looking to get back the market share in the competitive market. To react to the global challenges of competitiveness of aviation industry and also to remain firmly rooted to local life, the base of Air France in Marseille functions like a small regional business under the guidance of its regional director. The airline has overhauled its organizational structure in order to become efficient. Now each staff member, cabin crew, sales people has now a manager in Marseille. Now a local organization of Air France in Marseille has close to 400 pilots and cabin crew.
One of the new direct destinations announced was Athens in Greece. It will fly four times a week. One way fare for this route will be 79 Euros. The aircraft for Marseille to Athens route will be operated by either A319 or A320. The flight will have only one class which will be economy class. Free on-board services like free baggage allowance, choice of newspaper, seat choice, snacks and much more will be available on this flight as they are on all other Air France flights. This new destination is a part of Air France’s long-term strategy to increase the seat capacity by 30%. Air France has plans to launch 54 new direct flights with departures from Marseille, Toulouse, Nice and Bordeaux. It has plans to start these non-stop route flights to major cities in Europe and Mediterranean and also increase domestic routes.
Other non-stop flights started to fly out of Marseille include domestic destinations like Bale Mulhouse, Biarritz and Brest. Apart from Athens in Greece, Air France will fly from Marseille to Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Eindhoven, Milan- Malpensa, Moscow and Prague. The direct flights from Marseille to cities in Mediterranean region like Beirut and Brest. It will fly directly from Marseille to Casablanca in Morocco. Milan will have 12 weekly flights from Marseille. Dusseldorf has 7 flights per week. There will be 4 weekly non- stop flights from Marseille to Istanbul in Turkey, Moscow in Russia and Casablanca. You can take direct flight from Marseille to Eindhoven three times a week. And Copenhagen and Prague will get 2 non-stop flights from Marseille. On departure from Marseille, Air France is offering a one-way fare of 50 Euros including tax.
Similar strategies are expected to be implemented by Air France in Toulouse and Nice in the spring of 2012 and next summer in Bordeaux. According to press release, with such projects in future, Air France intends to draw virtuous circle to regain profitable growth. At the same time, it has a vision of offering customers an attractive service at the lowest possible fare and maximum employment for its employees.