The background to Air France's recovery

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Pierre-Henri GOURGEON

Executive managing director, Air France

Seminar Business life | Friday July 7, 2006 - 9h30 - 12h

At the start of the 1990s, an economic crisis put the European air transport sector into difficulty. In 1993, Air France went into the red. Christian Blanc was called to the rescue. He put in place a number of strategies : he attempted to boost staff morale, he implemented a powerful strategy to help Air France’s commercial development by deciding to build a hub at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport, he merged Air France with Air Inter, and he took great care to establish good relations with the employees. He successfully managed to guide the company out of the crisis. In 1997, his successor, Jean-Cyril Spinetta, ensured the development of the group by signing three-yearly agreements with the pilots and other professionals, optimising salary management, and reducing operating costs. The alliance with Delta Airlines, completed in 1999, opened up the American market to Air France, and its merger with KLM in 2004 made Air France the number one European passenger airline. In 2006, Air France-KLM became the world leader in air transport in terms of turnover.

The entire article was written by:

Lucien CLAES

This session was published in issue n°63 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled L'aventure.

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