•In Kenya, the airline is projected to register 19% more seats than in 2022.
•The expected growth is attributed to increased business travel post the August 2022 general elections.
Air France KLM Group has announced a raft of measures aimed at solidifying its position in East Africa, with Kenya a key market.
This, as it moves to meet the fast-changing consumer needs, after a challenging pandemic season that saw air travel falling sharply, prompting airlines to cut capacity.
Speaking while outlining the new measures, the new Air France – KLM general manager, East and Southern Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana, Marius van der Ham said: “For 2023, we aim to capitalise on the gains made in 2022 to further solidify our position in the East Africa market."
Marius van der Ham who is based in Nairobi added: " This means we will improve our products and services, review our fare structure to match consumer needs, improve our loyalty program, and continuously improve our airport experience by providing our customers with great support both at our departure and arrival stations”.
As of 2022, at least 85 perc ent of the airline’s capacity in the market was restored, against the backdrop of the gradual lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions on passengers.
The contribution of corporate travelers sat at 75 per cent for the region versus 2019, while in Kenya the contribution was 95 percent, and 16 percent more in Tanzania, consequently showing an above-average recovery of this segment.
Looking into 2023, Air France KLM Group projects that it will register at least 16 per cent more seats than in 2022 in terms of capacity in East Africa, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana.
This is back to the 2019 level when the pandemic hit the aviation sector.
In Kenya, the airline is projected to register 19 perc ent more seats than in 2022.
This return to the pre-pandemic ambition is attributed to increased business travel post the August 2022 general elections and renewed interest in Kenya as a destination.
“Kenya and the region remain a top priority of our network and we shall continue to provide a high-frequency network with updated products and services to connect Kenya to the world via our two hubs Charles De Gaulle - CDG and Schiphol. Besides, we will continue to apply our double hub strategy to offer more choice and flexibility to our customers” said Marius van der Ham
Regionally, Air France KLM is set to expand its frequency by introducing new routes in the year.
This is in addition to an already established network of KLM flights into Uganda and Rwanda.
Over and beyond expanding routes, Air France-KLM has announced ongoing plans to incorporate sustainability and reduce the airline's carbon footprint in 2023.
The objective is to achieve 30 per cent fewer emissions per passenger/km by 2030 versus 2019, have 10 per cent of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as its power source, and 64 percent of the fleet consisting of NextGen aircraft.
“We have already engaged in an ambitious fleet renewal program focused on the Dreamliner and A350 for our long-haul network and the modern A220, A320 neo, and Embraer aircraft types for our short-haul operation,” said van der Ham
On new products and services, the group recently rolled out a new solution aimed at providing a real-time and seamless end-to-end travel experience for travelers.
Dubbed Business Solution – the online portal is designed to offer travelers relevant travel information from policies and procedures, to the airline's products and services, the latest news, waiver requests, and network updates. The solution replaces AgentConnect.biz.
In addition, Air France - KLM outlined ongoing measures to improve its Flying Blue loyalty program and increase its usability both for earning and burning customer miles.
This will be complemented by the implementation of branded fare structure that provides customers with more choice on what elements they value in their ticket, which is a more basic product for price-sensitive customers, while the fully flexible fare for customers in need of more options.
All fares can be customized by adding extra products or services like baggage, CO2 compensation, meals, etcetera.