Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Why KLM and AIR FRANCE need each other

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Hello and welcome to a new episode by Flyboys Aviation!

This episode is about Air France-KLM, and more specifically why they both need each


What were the reasons for them to get together 14 years ago?

What is the cause of all the current turmoil?

And why wont they seperate?

Lets take a look at this together!

In the years after 9/11 the aviation industry all around the world was struggling.

This was also the case for many European airlines.

It slowly dawned on them that, in order to survive, they had to form strong alliances.

Thats why Air France and KLM found each other.

In 2004 the deal was signed and both airlines became part of the new holding company Air


Later on Lufthansa went on quite the shopping spree, acquring airlines such as Austrian

and Brussels airlines.

British Airways and Iberia formed their International Airlines Group in 2011.

Now, 14 years later, it seems Air France-KLM is in disarray.

The cultural differences between the Dutch and the French were underestimated when first

starting out and now it looks like they are insurmountable.

According to a leaked internal company report, the French see their Dutch colleagues as being

arrogant and only concerned with money.

The Dutch on the other hand see their French colleagues as aloof, inefficient and too attached

to hierarchy.

Furthermore, there is a threat of strikes by both KLM and Air France pilots.

The KLM pilots are mostly concerned with their working hours, the Air France pilots with

their pay.

The new CEO of Air France-KLM, former Air Canada man Ben Smith, is starting later next


The work that lies ahead of him is daunting.

He is without a doubt one of the bravest men in history.

It seems that with all this misery it would be better to just cut ties and continue without

each other, right?

Think again!

Despite all of this, there are many reasons why Air France and KLM are better off together

than alone.

There are currently three main airline groups in Europe: Air France-KLM, IAG and Lufthansa


If Air France and KLM were to split, they would be too small on their own to compete

with the two juggernauts that are IAG and Lufthansa group.

Furthermore, as a large player in the aviation market they have much greater purchasing power

when it comes to ordering aircraft and the signing of various other contracts with suppliers.

Making use of each others route networks and customer base is also hugely benificial.

This may especially be the case for KLM, which has a relatively small home market.

And lets not forget that both the airlines and their two main hubs in Paris and Amsterdam

have seen significant growth since getting together in 2004.

KLM has been performing much better than Air France.

Air France would therefore hate to see their cash cow leave.

Besides, the airlines are now so intertwined that untangling it would be extremely complicated.

Something like a Brexit of sorts.

And we all know how that is working out now....

So, maybe its best to see Air France-KLM as a mostly successful marriage that, like

all marriages, has its ups and downs.

Lets just hope Mr Smith can smooth things over in the coming years.

Thanks so much for watching!

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On my channel you will find a new video every week that delves deeper into the fascinating

world of aviation and offers you new insights!

See you around!

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