This week in aviation, Air France-KLM had our full attention. Not only is this marriage troubled, but AccorHotels could branch way out with a possible stake in the Franco-Dutch airline.
Airline News Weekly Roundup
Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines aviation.
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>>KLM CEO Pieter Elbers is honest. He knows some of his employees question why KLM, which is thriving, needs its long-term marriage to Air France. But Elbers knows that in airlines, the biggest carrier usually wins. Plus, he knows there’s no other way forward. For better or worse, Air France and KLM are probably together forever: Air France and KLM Will Stay Together Despite Recent Turmoil: KLM CEO
>>Until Air France-KLM implements a long-term cohesive strategy, it probably will keep falling behind its main competitors, International Airlines Group and Lufthansa Group. But unless the macroeconomic environment changes, it should be OK. Even with rising fuel prices, now is a good time to be in the airline business: Where Does Air France-KLM Go From Here?
>>If AccorHotels actually does invest in Air France-KLM that certainly would bring the company that much closer to being the full-service travel services company/brand that its CEO Sebastien Bazin has said he wants it to become: AccorHotels Considers Buying Stake in Air France-KLM
>>AccorHotels, Airbnb, and everyone else in travel are clearly thinking about what it’ll take to be the “super brand of travel” before other mega brands like Amazon and Google deepen their own investments in the travel space: What Accor’s Interest in Air France-KLM Means for the Travel Industry
>>Journalists grilled American Airlines CEO Doug Parker on Sunday about world affairs. It was unusual, considering he usually answers questions about capacity, or the passenger experience. But airlines are global businesses that rely on free trade agreements and deals negotiated by diplomats. Recent protectionist moves by some governments may not bode well for airlines: American Not Ready to Resume Commercial Ties With Etihad and Qatar Airways
>>You have to give Qantas some credit for its public relations strategy. It will be at least four years before the airline launches “hub-busting” flights to New York or London from Sydney but the airline already has almost everyone in the airline industry talking about its plans: Behind the Hype of Qantas’ Grand Plans to Fly Nonstop to London and New York
>>United’s new vice president of loyalty is putting his weight behind a new credit card and a handful of other initiatives at the airline. It will be interesting to see how those goals mesh with a weary base of MileagePlus members and a management team eager to turn profit and save cash: United’s New Loyalty Boss Confirms Focus on Demand, Not Miles, Is Here to Stay
>>In the airline industry, bigger is almost always better. But Hawaiian Airlines is betting its unique niche will help it as more competitors add capacity in its markets. Still, the airline could someday be a takeover target for another airline that wants to grow: Hawaiian Airlines CEO on Staying Small While Withstanding Competition
>>It’s funny. Fifth Freedom flights — those are routes where an airline flies from a place other than its home country — account for roughly 1 percent of Emirates’ capacity, according to the airline’s president. And Emirates has only two such routes to the United States. But it’s a hot topic among airline insiders, and it doesn’t sound like that will change: Emirates President Won’t Rule Out More U.S.-Europe Nonstop Flights
>>When flyers think about spending money at the airport, sandwiches and lattes quickly come to mind. But airports are thinking just as much about money spent in the parking lot, and they might need to change their approach: Airports Could Improve Revenue by Figuring New Uses for Empty Parking Lots
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Photo credit: KLM aircraft at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on May 15, 2018. The relationship between KLM and Air France is strained in some areas. Tjeerd Wiersma / Flickr