A report from Bloomberg highlights that Air France-KLM will hire a significant number of pilots this year and use bonus schemes to incentivize them to fly.
It is understood that the airline group wants to hire 500-600 pilots for the mainline Air France and Transavia carriers.
This represents an increase compared to the 450 hired in 2022.
As for the bonus scheme, Air France-KLM will allow pilots of the Boeing 777 and Airbus A320 to acquire bonuses if they waive up to seven days of holiday on a voluntary basis.
Back to Pre-Pandemic Growth…
This week saw Air France in the Air France-KLM group announce its plans to serve up to 191 destinations in the Summer of 2023 as post-COVID recovery continues.
The 191 destinations will be across 89 different countries, with the carrier noting that the network & schedule will now be at 2019 levels.
To bring together a level of briefness, below is a table of the long-haul focuses that Air France is paying attention to in Summer 2023:
|Beijing||1x daily||By July 1 (Frequencies gradually to be increased through the Spring).|
|Shanghai||1x daily||By July 1 (Frequencies gradually to be increased through the Spring).|
|Hong Kong||1x daily||By July 1 (Frequencies gradually to be increased through the Spring).|
|Tokyo Haneda||11x weekly||Summer 2023|
|Tokyo Narita||3x weekly||Summer 2023|
|USA||180x weekly||Summer 2023|
|Canada||50x weekly||Summer 2023 – Addition of CDG-Ottawa on May 27 (5x weekly) – Resumption of CDG-Quebec City on May 2|
|Dar es Salaam||Tbc||June 12, 2023|
|Zanzibar||3x weekly||Summer 2023|
|Nairobi||1x daily||Will become Daily by June 2023.|
|Cayenne||1x weekly||May 5, 2023|
|Belem||1x weekly||May 5, 2023|
With this all in mind, the number of long-haul destinations increases to 85, with the total weekly international flights outside of Europe standing at well over 277 weekly flights.
Looking to short-haul, Air France will operate up to 650 flights per day to French and European destinations.
The carrier said the following in its statement:
“Over and above its regular schedule, the airline will operate 66 seasonal routes in France and Europe, taking off from Paris and regional French airports.”
“These flights will make it possible to reach Corsica (from Paris, Bordeaux, Caen, Rennes, Lille, Lyon, and Nantes), Greece (from Paris, Marseille, Nice, and Toulouse), Algeria (from Paris, Marseille, Nice, and Toulouse), Morocco (from Paris and Nice), and Tunisia as well (from Paris, Marseille and Nice).”
“Meanwhile, the Air France-KLM Group’s low-cost affiliate, Transavia France, will operate close to 200 short- and medium-haul routes to 120 destinations this summer, including 100 from/to Paris-Orly.”
“This will make it the top low-cost airline operating out of Paris’ airports.”
It remains clear that the pilot shortage is beginning to affect Air France-KLM, especially in its plans to get back to pre-pandemic capacity.
Looking ahead, it’s going to be interesting to see whether these techniques will work to help stem this issue, which is expected to get worse industry-wide as the rest of the decade progresses.
But for now, all eyes are on Air France-KLM to see how the Summer 2023 season goes.