Expect fares to fall on Air France, which will need to do everything it can in the short term to fill its seats.
It's not necessarily a matter of labor issues. The KLM unit wants to be innovative and is innovative. Outside of a really nice new business class product Air France seems bankrupt of good ideas. And it has poisonous labor issues.
With Etihad's equity and codeshare partners contributing $1.4 billion in sales last year as their roles are growing, Etihad had to put in place a new structure to effectively manage a growing business.
Former rail exec coming in to save a troubled old-school airline? Where have we seen that before?
The groups likely needs a Willie Walsh type. Too bad there are very few Willies out there.
We hope Juniac is able to stay apolitical when it comes to dealing with the growth of Gulf and low-cost carriers.
Air France is also under threat from its own management missteps and inability to sort its labor relations.
British Airways is the only legacy carrier in Europe that seems to have a handle on the unique challenges they are facing.
The only thing inspiring about Air France-KLM this year is the French carrier's U.S. ad campaign.
European carriers are facing a bigger challenge from the Gulf airlines than their U.S. counterparts while they also grapple with massive labor conflicts and an air traffic control system that's in shambles.