How Air France Sees Travel Returning In The Coming Months

Air France KLM sees travel returning gradually over the course of the year.

They expect to run 20% of normal capacity in June, 40% in July, 60% in August and then hover around 75% of normal for the rest of the year. This seems optimistic to me, though they expect it will be two years before airline traffic returns to last year’s levels.

Copyright: radututa / 123RF Stock Photo

Despite currently losing an average of 20 million euros per day, they’re still planning to accept delivery of Airbus A350 aircraft in May and June. Partially state-controlled Air France isn’t going to walk away from state aircraft manufacturer Airbus. For now Airbus A220 deliveries remain on track as well. However they’re leaving open the possibility of deferring aircraft deliveries scheduled for later in the year (though it’s unclear whether manufacturers will keep delivery schedules given the possibility of furloughs and supply chain disruptions).

Whereas the French carrier was already planning to retire its Airbus A380s in the near-term, which is why they didn’t invest in flat seats in business class, it’s also not known whether the plane will return to the skies.

(HT: San Gottardo)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — This is delusional, as are most economic expectations at this point. Most people will continue to avoid air travel for the foreseeable future, and the jobless numbers will be miserable for at least 2 years.

  2. I don’t think it’s delusional. I’m still hoping to get to Grand Cayman at the end of May to scout wedding venues. Back up is mid June. I’m dying to travel. My flight to PHX two weeks ago was safer that going to the grocery store.

  3. With the risk to young people extremely low — there are more deaths of people over 100 than under 30 — there will certainly be plenty of travel this summer. Int’l travel will be much slower to recover than domestic travel (which will be bad for Air France and good for Southwest Airlines). Businesses that cater to older travellers will be slower to recover. I’m not sure what happens to the cruise industry.

  4. I’m sure Macron and the EUcrats are creating a long list of new air taxes and fees, and increasing existing taxes and fees.

  5. Highly highly optimistic. Even when quarantine is lifted, the company I work for will not be sending us out back on the road. Even if we wanted to, which many of my colleagues are quite ambivalent about. I honestly don’t expect our accounts to want to see us in person either. For both parties, it would have to be a “seal the deal” scenario. Especially now that we’ve seen how much we can accomplish with video conferencing.

    Leisure wise, we’ve canceled all of our plans EXCEPT for one which will have us in the great outdoors, far from other human beings. I can’t fathom being in a crowded subway or dense urban environment until we’ve got a handle on this virus.

  6. For the record Air France KLM is 13% owned by the French government and Airbus is 11% owned by the French government. Hardly state controlled…..

  7. Chris@Oak-

    AF fairs are usually the same as other airlines. So why are you ‘sure’ the French government is creating new taxes and fees? And if the fares are the same, why do you care?

    Have you noticed the amount of bailout U.S, airlines are getting?

    Maybe AA can bring Freedom Fries back.

  8. Just because the risk to young people of dying is low doesn’t mean they can’t get COVID19 and transmit it to people who are much more vulnerable to dying of it….Like many folks, I’m CRAVING travel. That doesn’t mean I should travel even if its permitted. Its clear that many governments are prioritizing business/economics in the short term over lives. So saying, my government permits travel doesn’t mean one should travel.

  9. Air France can plan all they want, the issue will be governments allowing people to enter their countries without a 14 day quarantine. We should have several treatments (anti-viral) by the fall of 2020 but likely visa restrictions (could this be the end of the EU?) to enter into countries and health screening including the “quick” COVID-19 tests.

    Until a vaccine and tracking system is in place, international travel will be 50% or less and will take 3 to 4 years to recover. Even then, it will look very different (additional screenings, paper work, more limited stays, etc. . . ). Planes will like be reconfigured for more space and IFE (at least domestically) will go away (the germ profile on those things are horrific). More “big” planes will be retired and the 787 and smaller a350s will be the planes of choice.

    All we can do now is wait and see and hopefully, this ends soon, but our new travel normals will be very different.

  10. I’m still planning a 6 country European trip in late October. If we’re not up and running by then most people will go bankrupt

  11. @chopsticks says:
    “there are more deaths of people over 100 than under 30 — ”
    Not sure of the relevance of this remark, but on the surface it is breathtakingly wrong! There are vastly, vastly more persons under 30 than over 100! Using you logic, all you can really say with certainty is that persons over 100 are most likely to die of old age than anyone under 30.

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